Monday, February 14, 2011

Milk makes a difference

Glen was in to have his teeth cleaned last week. Since we don't have dental insurance, we have our routine dental care (cleaning, exam, x-rays) done at the St. Cloud Technical College Dental Clinic.

Dental care is provided by students in the college's dental hygienist program. At the end of each cleaning/exam, the student's work is evaluated by an instructor.

During this evaluation, the instructor struck up conversation with Glen. The conversation started with how neither the student nor the instructor could believe that Glen has never had a cavity.

The instructor then noticed that Glen was wearing a University of Minnesota t-shirt. She asked if he was a fan. He told her he was an alumnus.

The instructor asked what he studied, because her son was currently at the University. He said he had a degree in animal science.

She asked if he was using his degree. He told her he was a dairy farmer.

She asked if he had grown up on a dairy farm. He said that he had.

"So, that's why you have such great teeth!" she said. "You drink a lot of milk!"

It's good to see that at least some health care professionals understand the importance of milk in our diets.

That importance was made clear in the United States Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends consuming three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products daily.

Around here, we consume far more servings of whole milk, cheese and other dairy products than recommended. Hopefully, our children's dental health will benefit, too.