Dentistry and nutrition: How dairy is actually hurting your teeth and bones

Issue 11

More than 72% of calcium in the average American diet comes from dairy. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and whey protein are the more popular forms of dairy used in the United States.

More than 72% of calcium in the average American diet comes from dairy. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and whey protein are the more popular forms of dairy used in the United States.

The National Dairy Council works hard to convince us that their product helps us grow “strong teeth and bones,” though many people don’t realize that the calcium in dairy lowers the body’s pH balance and is difficult to digest and utilize, especially when pasteurized.

In order to stay healthy, the body wants to be at a pH balance of 7.4. Milk and milk products pull the pH balance down and cause the body to become more acidic. The more acidic the body, the higher the opportunity for infection, disease, and other problems.

When blood becomes acidic, the body fights to get back to a 7.4 pH balance. One of the resources the body uses to balance pH is calcium and, when needed, will leach the calcium out of bones and teeth, making them weaker. Of course, this is the exact opposite of why most people consume dairy products … for strong teeth and bones!

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Easy-to-utilize calcium, which also raises pH levels, can be found in spinach, broccoli, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, bok choy, kale, oranges, sesame seeds, and many other veggies.

Our bodies were not designed to utilize milk after infancy and most people are unable to properly digest dairy after about the age of four. Nature intended cow’s milk to be used to quickly fatten up baby cows, not for humans to drink, process, or consume.

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Interestingly, a human is the only animal that utilizes milk after infancy and is also the only one that takes milk from another animal for its own consumption. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a goat getting its milk from a monkey or a rabbit from a bear? Right … it doesn’t happen because animals follow the laws of nature. Humans, however, we tend to follow the laws of consumer marketing.

To stay healthy, and to keep your teeth and bones strong, avoid dairy and products made from dairy. Switch to almond milk, coconut milk, or other non-dairy product and eat lots of leafy greens and plants to get your daily intake of easy-to-absorb calcium.

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Editor's Note: References and citations available upon request.

About the author: Kirstin Carey, Certified Holistic Nutritionist is the original “Freak at the Table.” She loves to enlighten people on the joys of food, health, and nutrition, and finding which foods work best for their bodies, their goals, and their lives. This cheesesteak-eating, native Philadelphian used to hide her veggies in her napkin and hated anything that came from the sea. Now she’s a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, restaurant owner, and nutritional consultant living in Scottsdale, and has never been more healthy and balanced. Learn more about her at

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