The suggestion by redfoxjumps-ga of a carrot is a good one, but better
still to follow this by eating a piece of cheese:
"Cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, blue, Monterey Jack, Brie, Gouda,
mozzarella, and Roquefort, as well as process American cheese, exhibit
a potential protective effect against tooth decay. The chemical or
physical characteristics of cheese responsible for its protective
action against tooth decay are not completely understood. However,
cheese has a number of properties that may help reduce risk of tooth
"Cheese's beneficial effect may be explained in part by its texture,
which increases saliva flow. This in turn reduces the increase in
cavity-causing acids by plaque bacteria and increases the clearance of
sugars from the oral cavity. Components of cheese such as protein,
calcium, and phosphorus may prevent acid demineralization and enhance
remineralization of tooth enamel. The protective effect of cheese
against dental caries may also be explained by an antibacterial effect
of components in cheese (e.g., fatty acids)."
The above quote is from the National Dairy Council
You may also be interested in their page "Health Benefits of Cheese":
I would understand if you suspected that the National Dairy Council
might have a pro-cheese attitude, and on the above page they even
suggest chocolate milk as a tooth-protective snack. So here's a PubMed
search that shows numerous studies which confirm that, not only does
cheese not cause cavities, but also it helps to prevent cavities being
caused by other foods:
"Entrez PubMed - search for 'cheese dental'"
(search within the page for "cheese" then click on the article titles
to see the article abstracts).
The Alberta Dental Hygienists' Association web page states:
* helps remineralize or rebuild teeth when calcium
and phosphorus are released during chewing.
* slows down the activity level of dental bacteria
and acts as a barrier between sugary foods when
it coats teeth.
* neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth
with the help of the protein casein, providing a buffer
against decay causing acids.
Some cheeses are more effective than others, and all but cream cheese
play a role in preventing dental decay. This is because cheeses
contain tooth building minerals - calcium and phosphorus. Eating
cheese can benefit your dental health."
Alberta Dental Hygienists' Association
Finally, here's a PubMed article that reviews the current research
literature about cheese and dental health, and reinforces the above
So, do enjoy your carrot-and-cheese bedtime snack! By the way, a
cheese snack is a great way to finish a meal, for the same reasons.
Google search strategy: