Milk thwarts sugar’s threat to dental health

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Dentists may not approve sugary breakfast cereals, but new research shows that drinking milk afterwards could cut the risk of developing cavities, according to Science Daily.

The study, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, shows that drinking a glass of milk after eating surgery cereal can reduce plaque acid levels and prevent damage to tooth enamel that leads to cavities.

"Our study results show that only milk was able to reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops," said Shilpa Naval, who performed the study under the direction of Christine Wu. "We believe that milk helped mitigate the damaging effect of fermentable carbohydrate and overcome the previously lowered plaque pH."

Wu and her team asked 20 adults to eat 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal, following by drinking several different beverages including whole milk, apple juice and tap water.  The results show that the order of the food we eat plays a role in cavity prevention.

"Results from a previous study suggested that the last food item consumed exerts the greatest influence on subsequent plaque pH," Wu explained. 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."

Read more here.

This isn’t the first time dairy products have been found to protect teeth against cavities. Cheese, rich in casein and calcium, play an important role in stabilizing and repairing tooth enamel.  Another study from the journal General Dentistry shows that eating cheese can reduce acids that will cause cavities and gum disease. Read, “Say ‘cheese’ for healthy teeth.”

Not all milk is the same, however. Another study in 2012 found that soy milk may have a higher potential to cause cavities. Click here for more.



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