Milk, yoghurt, cheese are all great for your smile! These dairy products are all rich in a mineral called calcium, which can fortify your teeth and help to prevent decay. So what happens if you’re allergic to dairy or don’t like it? Do you have to consume it if you want to keep your smile in good shape?
The benefits of dairy
To get the recommended amount of dairy, experts recommend that adults eat two to three servings of dairy each day. But the benefits of dairy products go further than merely providing everyone’s favourite bone-building mineral. Besides calcium, dairy products contain magnesium and vitamin D, which helps your body to make the most of the calcium you get.
- Vitamin D helps your intestines to process and absorb calcium
- Magnesium transforms vitamin D into its active form.
Not all dairy products contain magnesium and vitamin D though, so some brands enrich their products with these extra minerals.
Don’t like dairy? Don’t worry
Milk is excellent for your teeth, but you don’t have to drink it if you can’t or don’t want to. There are loads of nondairy foods that contain calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Here are some examples:
- To increase your calcium intake, eat sardines, bok choy, kale, almonds, and seaweed. Many types of nondairy milk, like soy, also contain calcium.
- For more magnesium, incorporate almonds, bananas, cashews, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, and broccoli into your diet.
- To get more vitamin D, eat more fatty fish (like salmon), beef liver and whole eggs. Your body also produces its own vitamin when you expose your bare skin to sunlight. In about half the time it would take you to start burning, you can get your body to create enough vitamin D for the day.
If you think that you aren’t getting the vitamins and minerals that your teeth and bones need, talk to your doctor or dentist. They may recommend specific dietary changes or supplements.
Dairy is fantastic for your teeth, but it isn’t vital. If you eat a balanced diet, you can get all of the benefits of dairy without drinking a drop of milk.