Consuming Milk After Eating Sugary Cereal Could Limit Cavities

Milk is all it takes to combat the damaging effects of eating sugary cereal.

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry conducted a study that showed milk lowers plaque acid levels and reduces damage to the enamel when milk is consumed after eating cereal.

The information appears in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

When carbohydrates are consumed four times each day in amounts greater than 60 g, a person’s risk of developing cavities is higher.

The information was gathered after 20 adults ate 20 g of dry Froot Loops. After eating the cereal, the people were assigned a beverage to drink. Some drank whole milk, others had apple juice or tap water. Plaque was then measured with a touch of micro electrode between the premolar teeth prior to eating. It was then measured two and five minutes after eating and two to 30 minutes after drinking a beverage.

The pH dropped significantly to 5.83 about 30 minutes after eating cereal. The participants who showed the highest increase in pH level were those drank milk. They saw their pH increase to 6.48 after about 30 minutes. The participants who drank apple juice saw no change and those who drank water saw a minimal increase.

Milk has a pH in the range of 6.4 to 6.7. It is thought to be a functional food that fights cavities because it leads to remineralization while serving to thwart plaque.

The study also showed that when consistently eating sugar-added cereal with milk and following it with fruit juice, there was a high risk for developing cavities. Other studies have shown that the last bit of food a person eats has the biggest impact on plaque pH. That’s why food sequencing is an underrated part of a healthy diet.

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