By Harold McGee
Finally, it has been recognized for decades that eating cheese slows tooth decay, which is caused by acid secretion from relatives of a yogurt bacterium (especially Streptococcus mutans) that adhere to the teeth. Just why is still not entirely clear, but it appears that eaten at the end of a meal, when streptococcal acid production is on the rise, calcium and phosphate from the cheese diffuse into the bacterial colonies and blunt the acid rise.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee. By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.