Go Calcium—for Teeth!
Each June, the Dairy Council sponsors National Dairy Month. A month-long celebration of all things dairy, the campaign calls attention to the many contributions the dairy industry makes to the American health and economy. As a dental office, we would like to extend that sentiment to include everything that dairy products do to help build strong bones and healthy teeth!
Dairy products contribute to our health in several ways:
- An 8-ounce glass of milk offers more nutrients than the same serving size of juice.
- Milk is packed with protein.
- Beyond the body-related benefits, the dairy industry fuels the U.S. economy. Consider how many people it takes to manage milk and cheese production. What’s more, distributors, and grocers stock shelves.
History of Dairy Farming
What began in 1937 as National Milk Month (which promoted milk consumption) has morphed into a month-long celebration and tradition of acknowledging the dairy industry’s contributions not just in America but all over the world:
- Although dairy products, in their raw state likely pre-date man, in the early 1900’s, the US dairy industry dramatically changed.
- Pasteurization, development of the centrifugal separator to remove milkfat and allow for the manufacturing of more dairy products, and the Babcock test which determines milk fat content radically changed the industry.
- Pasteurization allows for a safer product by extending the shelf life of milk by eradicating spoilage caused by bacteria. This process is done through the application of heat.
Health Benefits of Dairy
The amount of dairy someone needs depends on their age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. For women, the amount required changes based on pregnancy or breastfeeding. About 90% of Americans do not get enough dairy. Therefore, most individuals would benefit by increasing intake of fat-free or low-fat forms, from milk (including lactose-free milk), yogurt, and cheese, or from fortified soy milk or yogurt. According to MyPlate.gov, consuming dairy products bones and helps to build and maintains strong bones. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Milk contains nine essential nutrients to benefit health:
- Calcium builds bone and healthy teeth, enables muscle contraction and blood flow.
- Protein repairs muscles, tissues, and skin.
- Vitamin D promotes bone growth and calcium absorption and regulates your immune system.
- Vitamin B12 keeps nerves and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA.
- Vitamin A affects vision, the immune system, and reproductive health.
- Potassium helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions.
- Phosphorus aids the body’s energy production, and helps it absorb calcium.
- Riboflavin breaks down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
- Niacin aids digestion.
Dental Health Benefits of Dairy
Drinking milk and eating sugar-free yogurt makes teeth stronger and protects tooth enamel. It also strengthens the jawbone, which can extend the life of natural teeth. It also fights tooth decay. For children, expectant mothers, and women in general, milk is especially important. From infancy through high school, kids need ample amounts of calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth development. For women who are pre- or post-menopausal, drinking milk is an excellent defense against osteoporosis.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.