Now that you’ve been warned that diet soda will destroy your teeth—albeit when paired with extremely poor dental hygiene—it’s time to focus on the antidote. And according to a new study, that antidote is…cheese!
In a recent report published in General Dentistry, researchers studied the effects of cheese, sugar-free yogurt and milk in the mouths of 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15. And while the calcium in dairy has long been lauded as a strengthener of teeth, the study found that subjects who ate cheese saw a drop in pH levels in their mouths; lower pH levels help fight plaque, dually fighting cavities and protecting enamel. ““It looks like dairy does the mouth good,” Seung-Hee Rhee, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, said. “Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.” Apparently, the saliva released when you chew cheese might be responsible for the pH decrease, plus cheese sticking to teeth might help protect enamel from acid erosion.