New research has found that toddlers who eat yogurt at least four times a week reduce their risk of tooth decay, compared to those who eat it less than once a week.
The findings were made by the Fukuoka University and the University of Toyko after they studied over 2,000 3-year-olds.
While yogurts eaten four times a week cuts the chance of cavities by 22%, other dairy products like butter, cheese and milk, appeared to have no major benefits to children’s teeth. Just high consumption of yogurt appeared to have a protective effect. Researchers claim that the protein in the yogurt ‘binds’ to the surface of the teeth and seals them against attack from harmful acids.
However, before you reach for the yogurts, remember that most contain added sugar, something the British Health Foundation (BHF) are keen to advise. “It should be remembered that many yoghurts in the UK contain sugar and it is well established that increasing the frequency of sugar containing food and drinks leads to an increase in dental decay,” Dr Nigel Carter from the BHF has warned.
The Food Standards Agency recommend that you look out for ingredients that can cause tooth decay. Hidden sugars like glucose, fructose, hydrolysed starch and invert sugars are all bad for young teeth. For babies, honey, golden syrup, treacle and granulated sugar are harmful, too.