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Milk Formulas and Dental Plaque pH

Investigating the effect of different milk formulas on dental plaque pH, a study selected 6 commercial in­fant milk formulas for evaluation. The study conducted by Ananda S. Raju et al evaluated milk formulas with 10% sucrose solution as the positive and deionized water as the negative control; these formulas were tested among 10 children aged 7 to 10 years. Using a combination electrode to record the plaque pH changes, it was found that mouth­rinsing with all infant formulas significantly reduced the plaque pH (Tukey’s multiple comparison test, P < .05) to levels below the prerinse pH value for sucrose solution and also below the pH obtained after rin­sing with water. Each milk formula had a significant but variable buffering effect or tendency to de­crease the pH. The formula with the least buffering effect was Nestogen (9.21%) followed by Nan (11.92%), and the highest buffering effect was shown by Lactodex (20.13%). The pH drop ranged from 0.72 for Farex to 0.98 for Nan. The results of this study underscore the need for parents and clinicians to be fully aware of the potential harm of various infant formulas and their major role in the etiology of early childhood caries. These findings may help in creating a new generation of foods which if not “friendly to teeth” may be thought of as “friendlier” than their predecessors.
(Source: Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry, Fall 2012, Volume 10, Issue 3)

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