Chalk up one more for mothers everywhere. When your mom told you to drink your milk when you were a kid, she knew what she was talking about. Not only is milk good for your health in general, it is especially good for your teeth. Read on for some reasons why milk is so important to your health, and your smile.
Why Milk Is Good for You
Everyone knows that milk has calcium, and calcium is important. For such a little mineral, calcium does a lot. It is important for vital functions in the body such as the release of hormones, ensuring nerves work properly, and helping muscles to contract. Because calcium is needed for so many things, if your body doesn’t have enough, it takes it from your bones and teeth. So, if you aren’t getting enough calcium it not only affects your muscles and nervous system, it can end up damaging your bones and teeth as well.
Milk also has vitamin D, which helps your body to absorb calcium, and phosphorous, which is also important for healthy teeth and bones. The calcium and phosphorous in milk also helps teeth to remineralize, which helps to protect your teeth and keep them from eroding.
But a healthy mouth isn’t just made up of healthy teeth. The good news is that calcium also helps keep gums healthy, and protects against periodontal disease.
Despite how important milk, there are many people who still don’t drink enough of it. And if you drink soda or other caffeinated drinks, you are not only missing out on a chance to drink a glass of milk, but these drinks have substances in them that may interfere with your body’s absorption of the calcium that is in your system. Smoking and drinking alcohol can interfere with this process, as well.
Why Milk Is Good For Women and Children
Milk is good for everyone, but kids and women especially need to drink some everyday.
Kids need it because their bones are growing rapidly, and they need the vitamins and minerals that milk provides. Also, if kids start building strong bones when they are young, and work to keep them strong, they will have less bone loss—and the problems associated with it—when they get older.
Women need milk because they are more likely than men to lose bone density, which may lead to brittle, easily breakable bones, and, later in life, the bone disease osteoporosis.
Making Sure Your Kids Drink Milk
Just as you may not have listened to your mom when she told you to drink milk, maybe your kids aren’t listening to you when you suggest a glass of milk with dinner. Here are a few ideas to encourage your kids to drink milk…
- Chocolate milk. Although it seems counter-intuitive to give your kids sugar when you are trying to make their teeth healthier, chocolate milk is almost as good as regular milk. First of all, it provides all the nutrients of milk. Also, because it is a liquid, the sugar doesn’t have a chance to stick to teeth for very long.
- Blend together a tasty smoothie with milk, yogurt, and fruit (and maybe a few chocolate chips, just to get the kids interested).
- When your kids want ice cream, pour some milk on top of it.
- Set a good example by drinking some everyday yourself!
- Encourage them to have some milk with their cookies—a glass of milk to go along with sugary snacks can actually help keep cavities from forming.
As you can see, mom was right—there is a long list of benefits to drinking milk. Make sure both you and your kids get some milk everyday.