Is Dairy Good or Bad for Teeth?

There’s a lot of medical debate about dairy at the moment, and if you love your cheese or milkshakes then it’s time to pay attention for better oral health. Dairy products contain calcium, which is naturally good for the teeth. However, the same dairy products also contain live bacteria, which may accumulate on the teeth and increase the rate of bacteria and thus the potential rate of tooth decay. Is dairy good or bad for your dental health, and what can you do to reduce its impact?

Is Dairy Good or Bad for Teeth?

Why Calcium Helps Dental Health

Most dairy products are high in calcium, and calcium is important for the formation and sustainability of strong bones and teeth over time. Milk and other dairy products aren’t just for kids, but just as important for adults to maintain their bone and dental health over time.

Studies show that enough calcium in your diet can reduce the severity of a condition called dental fluorosis. In this way, dairy and calcium supplements help your dental health.

Calcium Deficiency and Oral Health Impact

Calcium deficiency can have a severe health impact, and may lead to the degradation of oral and bone health faster than in someone with adequate levels of the same essential mineral. Calcium is important, whether your body is getting this mineral from dairy or a specific health supplement to bridge the gap.

The Dental Danger of Dairy

There’s a lot of potential danger associated with dairy, which could mean that excess dairy consumption could be harmful to your dental health instead of being good for it. Dairy could lead to increased bacteria, especially the types of dairy (like yogurt) that contain live cultures or added sugar.

Sugar is like food for most types of bacteria, including the type you’ll find cruising around in your oral cavity.

If you consume too much dairy, then you may cause harm to your oral health.

Dairy Increases Potential Oral Bacteria

Dairy increases the number of bacteria found in the mouth, and studies show that dental bacteria are more mobile than previously thought. While calcium is useful for optimal dental health, excess dairy products are harmful instead.

The final answer to the question “Is dairy good or bad for your teeth?”, is that it could be both. Dairy is good or bad for the teeth under certain circumstances.

It’s up to you to make sure you maintain effective oral health and consume the necessary amount of calcium to match (but never exceed) your dietary intake.

How to Reduce the Negative Impact of Dairy on Your Teeth

Many people love dairy products, and you might very well be one of them. It’s possible to reduce the negative impact that dairy can have on your teeth, by making sure you maintain a hygiene routine that matches your food or drink consumption.

Rinse with water or mouthwash if you have recently consumed dairy products, and you can cut down on the potential bacteria that might accumulate afterward. However, be careful to not over-brush, as this can damage the tooth enamel (and in fact, lead to more cavities rather than less).

Additional Information: 7 Non-Dairy, Calcium-Rich Foods for Your Teeth

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Dear Valued Patient

Happy 2024! All of us at Regency Dental hope your year is off to a great start. As many of you have already witnessed, there are changes occurring within our practice for the past several months. Dr. Spanel is in a time of transition within the practice, and he has found a colleague who shares his core values, philosophy, and sense of personalized quality care. He was fortunate to find Dr. Dan Ellingson who is a wonderful, gentle dentist. Dr. Ellingson is a local graduate of Gross High School, UNO, and UNMC College of Dentistry. He has a strong commitment to our local community. Having this opportunity to own a private practice, Dr. Ellingson is eager to meet each of you. He and all staff members will continue working diligently to provide you with the same caring, calm and meticulous dental care you would expect to receive from Dr. Spanel.

As we continue to move forward in 2024 with this transition, we thank you for your trust, partnership, and patience as we welcome Dr. Ellingson to the practice. We have additional team members, and have updated our software programs to comply with HIPAA regulations of paperless charting. We are also updating our equipment to provide state-of-the-art care.

We all know that changes bring challenges. Please know that Dr. Spanel, Dr. Ellingson and the team at Regency Dental intend to provide you, our loyal patients, the very best dental care in a warm and compassionate atmosphere. If you haven’t scheduled your 2024 dental check-ups, please call us!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


The Doctors and Staff at Regency Dental.