For individuals with orthodontic braces, it is sometimes hard to find tasty things to eat. Most types of candy are off limits in addition to treats that are either too sticky or too brittle. Dairy products, however, are safe territory. Most are soft and have very little sugar, which makes them ideal for people with sensitive teeth or who have orthodontic appliances. Now, a recent study indicates that dairy products, especially cheese, are not just safe for teeth, but beneficial and can prevent cavities. 

In an analysis published in the journal General Dentistry, scientists looked at the plaque pH levels of 68 adolescents before and after they consumed either milk, sugar-free yogurt or cheese. According to the researchers, a pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, which can lead to cavities. 

The subjects who consumed milk and yogurt experienced no changes in the pH levels in their mouths, while the individuals who ate cheese exhibited a rapid increase, suggesting that cheese can prevent cavities. 

"It looks like dairy does the mouth good," said Dr. Seung-Hee Rhee, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, in a press release. "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."

The research team also suggested that the compound found in cheese may prevent acid erosion, because they can adhere to tooth enamel, preventing plaque build-up. 

If you are interested in learning more about braces and the foods that are safe to eat while you have the appliances, don't hesitate to get in contact with an orthodontist in New York City today. 

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