(HealthDayNews) -- "Say cheese," amateur photographers advise to get their subjects to smile. And it usually works.

But there's apparently more of a connection between a nice smile and cheese, according to the Texas Medical Center. It reports on recent research suggesting that cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and American cheeses may help protect against tooth decay.

According to Dr. Bruce Carter, chief of the Dental Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital, important nutrients found in cheese, such as calcium, protein and phosphorus, stimulate saliva production in the mouth, helping to break down decay-causing acids. The nutrients also help build strong teeth and bones.

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