When people say that milk is cereal’s best friend, that saying is true with respect to many aspects. Milk is definitely a great complement to any cereal consumed in the morning, but it can also do wonders for teeth! New research done at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry demonstrated that downing some milk after consuming sugary cereal could greatly cut down plaque acid levels, preventing damage to tooth enamel that could eventually lead to cavities.
Studies have previously shown that when individuals eat carbohydrates four times a daily, they are in fact increasing the risk of cavities. Christine Wu, a professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Illinois, was interested in ways to prevent the onset of cavities while not avoiding morning carbs. Wu and her former graduate student conducted a study with 20 adults. Each participant was given 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal, along with one beverage, including whole milk, 100% apple juice or tap water. A microelectrode placed between premolar teeth before consumption was used to measured plaque pH or acidity in the oral cavity. A pH below 7 is considered acid; a pH at 7 is considered neutral; a pH above 7 is considered basic. Wu found that pH in plaque dropped quickly (became acidic) after consuming cereal alone, and remained at a pH of 5.83 after 30 minutes.
The individuals who drank milk after eating the Froot Loops showed the highest increase in pH, from 5.75 to 6.48 in 30 minutes. Those who drank apple juice were only at a pH of 5.84 after 30 minutes while those who consumed water experienced an increase of pH to 6.02. Wu’s study showed that milk was the only beverage that significantly reduced the acidity of dental plaque after the consumption of sugary carbs. She believes that milk counteracts the damaging effect of fermentable carbs and has the ability to effectively bring up plaque pH.
Diet continues to be absolutely crucial in oral health and the different types of food truly do determine the likelihood of developing cavities. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org