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What You Didn’t Know About Lactose Intolerance and Teeth

Did you know that your child’s lactose intolerance has an impact on teeth? Read on to learn more.

Are You Lactose Intolerant?

More than 7 million Canadians are lactose-intolerance. If you are lactose intolerant, you lack the enzyme (lactase) to break down lactose for absorption. This is why you get gas, bloating, diarrhea or cramping if you have dairy. Canadian Digestive Health Foundation also reported that 25% of lactose intolerant patients also have celiac disease. Celiac disease also has its own effect on teeth. You can read more about it here.

Do You Avoid Dairy Products for Your Child?

For your bone and teeth health, you should be giving your child calcium supplements. The recommended daily intake of calcium for children is as follows (click here for source).

1 to 3 years old — 700 milligrams of calcium daily

4 to 8 years old — 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily

9 to 18 years old — 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily

How is Lactose-Free Milk different?

In lactose-free milk, lactose is broken into galactose and glucose. Since these are simple sugars, lactose-free milk can taste slightly sweeter than regular milk.

Can Lactose-Free Milk Cause Cavities?

In a previous post, we discussed how lactose in milk can cause cavities. The same goes for lactose-free milk. Constant exposure to milk in a bottle or sippy cup can cause cavities in children’s teeth.

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Horn