Eating between meals may not be as bad for your teeth as previously thought - as long as you eat the right foods. One of the right foods is cheese.

Dr. Charles Schachtely, University of Minnesota dental researcher, presented these findings at the Utah State University Biennial Cheese Industry Conference held recently."Dentists and parents have been preaching "don't eat sweets between meals" for years because the plaque on your teeth mixes with sugar and forms an acid that gradually eats through the enamel on your teeth," Schachtely said.

He said later research found that even reducing sugar content of between meal snacks by 80 percent did not prevent this harmful acid from forming. Any fermentable carbohydrate - virtually any solid food - would form acid. Corn flakes, wheat flakes or even carrots could contribute to acid production.

"The most recent research has found only five types of food are considered low-acid formers. They are peanuts, eggs, popcorn, certain meats and certain cheeses."

He said some cheeses even appear to have anti-acid properties. Swiss and aged cheddar cheese seem to reduce the levels of acid formed the next time you eat a sugary food.

Additionally, some experiments show that these cheeses have an "remineralization effect" similar to floride in toothpaste and water. This means that they help promote the repair of enamel on the teeth, he said.