Eating sugary foods and drinking sugary drinks exposes your teeth to acids, which prevents your mouth’s pH level from stabilizing to what it needs to be to fight plaque. As a result, this is often a prime time for plaque to form. In a recent study to see if certain foods can affect your mouth’s acid levels, the research team found that drinking milk reduced the mouth’s acidity, even after eating a sugary breakfast cereal.
Twenty adults participated in the study and they were given four combinations of foods. The first group ate sugary cereal only, the second group ate dry cereal followed up with whole milk, the third group had apple juice, and the last group drank tap water after their cereal. Each participant had the plaque pH levels in their mouths tested after consuming their given breakfasts.
Those who drank nothing or drank water or apple juice had relatively the same low pH levels (high acid levels), but those who drank milk had a considerably higher pH level (lower acid level).
Their conclusion? Drinking milk with your sugary cereals can significantly reduce how low your pH levels drop, which will, in turn, create a less suitable environment for plaque to form. The researchers go as far as to say that the order of ingesting the sugary foods and milk is key as well. If you drink the milk before you consume sugary foods, the milk obviously won’t be able to stop the pH drop caused by the sugar.
In other words, eating your cereal coated with milk won’t entirely solve the problem. It’s about drinking milk separately from the sugary cereal AFTER eating it.