June 4th, 2014
Whether you are on-the-go or craving a crunchy snack, dry cereal is a popular snack for both adults and children. Popular cereal brands like Fruit Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch have been scrutinized by health care professionals for its high sugar content. As many of us know, sugar causes cavities. However, research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry suggests that chasing dry, sugary cereal with milk significantly lowers sugar's ability to eat away at our teeth and can prevent cavities.
A cavity is caused by leftover food debris on our teeth. Our teeth are covered by a tough outer mineral covering called enamel. However, the enamel can break down and become eroded when it comes into contact with acids. Specifically, bacteria love feeding on sugars and carbohydrates. As the bacteria feast on these types of leftovers, they produce the harmful acids that break down enamel and cause cavities.
The researchers looked at three different liquids and their effectiveness in bringing down the risk of cavities when combined with dry cereal: apple juice, water, and milk. They found that drinking milk following sugary cereals led to effectiveness in preventing cavities by most significantly lowering the overall acidity in the mouth. Water also lowered the acidity, but to a lower extent. Apple juice, on the other hand, did not lower the acidity because of its sugar content. Milk is also known to be beneficial for teeth for its high calcium content and ability to help in tooth remineralization.
Interestingly, eating cereal soaked in a bowl of milk does not result in the same cavity-fighting results. In other words, milk is only beneficial in combatting the detrimental effects of sugary cereals if it is sipped separately following the consumption of dry cereal. This is because cereal immersed in milk leads to a syrupy, sugary solution as the sugar particles from the cereal become dissolved in the milk. As a result, the researchers of the study say to avoid drinking sugary fruit juices following a bowl of milk and cereal to significantly lower the chances of introducing excess sugar into your diet.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.
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