A recent study conducted by researchers at Melbourne Dental School suggests that soy milk, a common substitute for regular cow’s milk, may actually promote tooth decay. While scientists say one glass of soy milk a day will not significantly harm the oral health of adults, they warn it may produce harmful effects on the oral health of babies and small children.
Soy Milk and Acid Erosion
Researchers discovered that soy milk encourages the harmful bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities to secrete 5-6 times more acid than normal. Cavities form when oral bacteria mix with sugar and starches in the mouth, forming acid that erodes tooth enamel and leaves it vulnerable to decay. In the study, researchers found that soy milk became highly acidic when introduced with bacteria, whereas regular milk remained relatively neutral.
The Benefits of Regular Milk
Researchers conducted the study in laboratory dishes. Some scientists remain skeptical of the findings. After all, conditions in the human mouth may radically change results of the study. While researchers claim that more studies are required to understand the potentially harmful effects of soy milk on oral health, drinking regular milk instead is an excellent way to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Besides the fact milk is non-acidic and does not promote acidic secretion by bacteria in the mouth, the combination of vitamin D and calcium present in natural milk strengthens bones and teeth. Some studies even suggest that milk may reverse the damage caused by acid to tooth enamel.
Another excellent source of vitamin D and calcium is cheese. A product of milk, cheese has the same effect on teeth. Eating hard cheeses provides added protection against tooth decay, because the texture helps remove food particles from teeth. This gives harmful bacteria less chance to secrete acid and cause enamel erosion.
Schedule an Appointment
Diet plays an important part in the war against tooth decay. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and maintaining regular six-month dental cleanings with your Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, is also very important. Call our Comfort Dental Spa office at (248) 474-6434 to schedule an appointment today. We serve patients from Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Farmington Hills, and the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods.