The Effect of Soy Milk on the Teeth

A new study shows that soy milk is more likely to cause cavities than cow’s milk. During the study they combined Streptococcus mutans, which is most commonly associated with cavities to soy and cows milk. Within 10 minutes of adding the bacteria to soy milk it became more 5-6 times more acidic, whereas the cows milk did not change significantly. While drinking soy occasionally is unlikely to impact the health of an individual’s teeth, the real concern in relation to higher acid output occurs when babies are allowed to sip from bottles containing soy milk throughout the day.

For some who are lactose intolerant you may be wondering what you can do to reduce your chance for cavities if you drink soy milk. As with any food or drinks that have high acidic content there are steps you can take to help reduce acid erosion. Reducing the contact of the acidic drink with your teeth by drinking through a straw. Immediately after consumption you can rinse your mouth with water or chew a piece of sugar free gum.  Also, for example drinking your soda with a meal rather than sipping all day long. Avoid brushing your teeth for one hour after consuming acidic food and drink. While this may seem counter-intuitive, acidic foods and drink soften the tooth enamel and leave it prone to damage from brushing. Wait an hour before brushing during which time saliva will restore lost mineral and reharden enamel. Although, the best defense for reducing acid erosion is to limit the overall consumption of acidic foods and drinks.

Dr. Julie Pruneski is the dentist and owner of Whispering Pines Dental located at 690 Cooper Foster Park Road in Lorain, Ohio.  Dr. Pruneski is a current member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, Lorain County Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry and American Academy of Facial Esthetics.  To reserve an appointment with Dr. Pruneski, call 440-282-2023.  Check us out on Facebook at

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