Prevent Cavities By Washing Your Cereal Down With Milk

Wash your cereal down with milk, but don’t mix the two!

Drink Milk After Eating Sugary Cereal
flickr/Jeannine St. Amand
The milk reduces plaque levels, therefore helping to prevent damage to tooth enamel and cavities.

It’s no secret that sugary cereals aren’t the best for oral hygiene, but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry may have found a way to prevent the damage.

Principal investigator, Christine Wu, instructs those consuming sugary breakfast cereal to drink a glass of milk when finished. The milk reduces plaque levels, therefore helping to prevent damage to tooth enamel and cavities.

The research asked 20 adults to consume 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal.  Participants then washed the breakfast food down with whole milk, tap water, or 100 percent apple juice. Plaque pH, or acidity, was measured before eating, after eating, and after drinking the liquid. Tests showed that the pH in plaque decreased quickly after eating the sugary cereal. Wu and her former student, Shilpa Naval, found that milk was the only drink that helped to “reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops.” The dairy product stimulates tooth remineralization, while deterring the growth of plaque.

Although not published with this study, Wu has done previous tests where it was discovered that the pairing of Froot Loops and milk resulted in a syrupy mixture, lowering plaque pH to “levels similar to that obtained after rinsing with a 10 percent sugar solution.” So if you can’t give up your morning sugar rush just yet, eat it dry and follow up with a glass of milk!


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