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Take a bite out of tooth decay - with cheese!

Eating certain cheeses-including aged Cheddar, Swiss, Bleu, Comte, Brie and Gouda-immediately after or between meals has been shown to help prevent tooth decay. Calcium, phosphorus and other components in cheese may contribute to this beneficial effect.

Eating cheese coats the teeth with calcium that helps protect them against caries, or cavities. Eating just one cube of cheese can increase plaque-calcium concentration by up to 112%, helping to harden teeth and discourage softening which leads to cavities. It appears that cheese - whether cooked or uncooked - also prevents demineralization and, at the same time, encourages remineralization of teeth.

When food is eaten, the mouth's pH often drops - the mouth becomes more acidic. Teeth are very sensitive to acid, and it appears that eating cheese helps maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth. One study showed that the pH drop following consumption of a 10% sugar solution was 4.26, but when the sugar solution was eaten after cheese, the pH dropped to only 6.48.

What's more, the chewiness and taste of cheese stimulate the production of saliva, which washes cavity-causing sugars from food. So enjoy recommend eating cheese immediately after meals, or as a between-meal snack.

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