No Cavities? Drink Milk After Sugary Cereals

My husband always grimaces when he sees babies sleeping with bottles in their mouths, especially if it's sugary juice. "They're going to ruin their teeth!" he mourns.  (I should mention he's a dentist.)

But a new study is showing that a glass of milk after sugary cereals may go a long way in preventing cavities, according to a story at "Washing down sugary breakfast cereal with milk after eating reduces plaque acid levels and may prevent damage to tooth enamel that leads to cavities, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry," the Web site reports.

That's because dry, ready-to-eat, sugar-added cereals combine refined sugar and starch, and "when those carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria in the dental plaque on tooth surfaces produce acids," quotes Christine Wu, professor of pediatric dentistry and director of cariology, who served as principal investigator of the study.

I never knew this -- carbohydrates are bad, bad, bad for so many reasons -- but reports have shown that eating them four times a day, or in quantities greater than 60 grams per person per day, increases the risk of cavities.

And if you put the milk in your cereal?  Fuggedaboutit.  "Eating sugar-added cereal with milk, followed by drinking fruit juice, is thus a highly cavity-causing combination," Wu told

That's because fruit juices are loaded with sugar, but apparently using milk in your cereal can be harmful, too.
What's the answer?  Probably, avoid sugar-laden cereals.


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