Milk Protects Teeth After Eating Sugary Cereals

We know that sugary breakfast cereals are bad for us, but they are hard to resist, especially for kids. These cereals combine refined sugars and starch and are actually addictive! Research published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association found that drinking a glass of milk after eating sugary cereal may help protect tooth enamel from cavities.milk

When the carbohydrates in these cereals are eaten, the bacteria in the dental plaque on our teeth start to produce acids. These acids damage dental enamel which leaves teeth vulnerable to decay. We know that eating carbohydrates four times per day increases the risk of cavities and this research attempted to find ways to protect the teeth.

The researchers had people eat dry Froot Loops cereal and then drink different beverages including whole milk, 100% apple juice or water. The pH levels of the teeth were measured before and after eating. The people who drank the milk showed that the acidity levels of the dental plaque were reduced, none of the other beverages did this.

Notice that the milk was not consumed with the cereal – but after. It was discovered that combining the cereal with the milk made it syrupy and that eating cereal with milk was equal to rinsing your mouth with a 10% sugar solution.

“Results from a previous study suggested that the last food item consumed exerts the greatest influence on subsequent plaque pH,” said researcher Christine Wu. “For example, eating cheese after a sugary meal reduces acid production, and consumers can modify their diet in such a way as to prevent the cavity-causing effects of sugary foods.”

Find out more about protecting your family’s smiles by contacting Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994.