National Dairy Month celebrates dairy products and their contributions to our health. Not only do dairy products taste great, but they are also loaded with nutrients such as calcium that our body needs.
Because of their rich calcium content, dairy products keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong throughout your life. Your bones and teeth store 99 percent of the total calcium in your body. Infants are given milk so they can grow strong bones and teeth. Because teeth form long before a baby is born, it is important for expecting mothers to consume the recommended amount of calcium. Milk and other dairy-based foods are vital, even beyond childhood. As a person ages, they should continue to consume dairy products to prevent osteoporosis.
The most common dental problem among children and adults is tooth decay. Milk can help prevent tooth decay. In addition to calcium, milk contains phosphorus. Both of these elements keep teeth strong. Milk also contains casein, a type of protein that forms a protective film on the tooth enamel. This coating prevents decay caused by bacterial acids. Calcium and phosphorus strengthen and repair the enamel that begins to dissolve when attacked by harmful acids that can build up in the mouth.
Drinking milk after eating sugary foods can help with a person’s dental health. Eating candy and other junk foods exposes the teeth to destructive acids. Drinking milk after eating sugary foods actually lowers the harmful levels of acid in the mouth. If you indulge in sweets, wash them down with a glass of milk.