- Dry, sugary cereal accompanied by a drink of water
- Dry, sugary cereal accompanied by a drink of 100% apple juice
- Dry, sugary cereal accompanied by a drink of whole milk
Got your guess yet? Alright. The correct answer to which one of these combinations will create a less acidic environment in your mouth, thus, making your teeth less likely to get cavities is (drum roll please…): Dry, sugary cereal accompanied by a drink of whole milk!
Are you surprised? I was too but according to a recent study conducted by dentists at the University of Illinois at Chicago, it’s not so much the sugary food that is consumed that creates perfect breeding ground for plaque but what’s followed after that sugary, carbohydrate food that counts.
My dad’s a dentist. He’s all about staying away from sugary foods and beverages so when he came to me with the write up of this study in his Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) asking if I could read it I was intrigued. I mean how many times a day do my children have some kind of carbohydrate based food as a snack? Often and probably more than I’d like to admit. What do I give to them to accompany the snack? More often than not I mix water and a little bit of apple juice. My thinking is simple really: The kids just ate food that had some form of sugar in it so I will balance that out by giving them water or very diluted juice. I will readily admit that my reason for having my children drink water after a sugary snack is based on the calories, sugars and fat that are consumed going into the body. The article in the JADA states, “The frequent intake of sugary snacks between meals subjects the enamel to longer periods of acid attacks…” The study took 20 adults and gave them each dry Fruit Loops cereal. Then, after they ate each dose of cereal, they had a drink of those liquids I described above. The findings are simple and revolutionary, drink milk with your snack, especially if it contains sugar:
Fruit juices are considered healthy food choices. However, excessive intake of or continuously sipping fruit juices can be a risk to dental health because these juices are processed with added ingredients, especially sugar, which may contribute to dental erosion…In contrast to fruit juices, milk and other dairy products have been reported to be ‘tooth-friendly…’ routine milk consumption leads to low caries [cavities] activity…
Basically, if you want to lessen your chances and your child’s chance of cavities, pair that snack with milk and stay away from apple juice! What drinks do you give to your kids?
And if you really want the lowdown on the study you can read the full article by clicking here.