Say Cheese! Eat This Instead of a Sweet Dessert

Cheddar, Swiss, Brie, Gouda -- it's all good-a!

This probably isn't going to come as shocking news, but here it is anyway: Sweet desserts will wreck your teeth. Besides adding triple digits to your daily calorie count, all those cakes, pies, brownies, cookies and hot fudge sundaes you've been enjoying after dinner have really been doing a number on your chompers.

Eating too much sugar is one of the fastest ways to ruin your teeth. There are hundreds of species of bacteria in your mouth, all of which thrive on sugar. When you chow down on something sweet, the bacteria cling to your teeth, creating plaque and converting dietary sugars into acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. If you don't clean off the plaque properly -- especially after eating that slice of apple pie a la mode after dinner -- the plaque will harden into tartar, greatly increasing your risk of tooth decay and dental disease.

Even if you're well aware of the dirty details of tooth decay, you might still be tempted to load up on post-meal sweets. What else are we supposed to eat for dessert, you might ask, but sugary treats? The answer may be surprising: cheese. It might not be the most exciting alternative to banana splits and chocolate chip cookies, but it actually cleans your teeth.

How, you say? Read on to find out.