Prevent cavities with milk

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DR. JOSEPH D. LIM

DR. JOSEPH D. LIM

Are you looking for a simple way to prevent cavities after eating your favorite sugar-laced breakfast cereal? Just drink a glass of milk and your problems are over.

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This sweet news comes from Christine Wu from the University of Illinois at the Chicago College of Dentistry. Wu, a professor of pediatric dentistry and director of cariology, said that washing down sugary breakfast cereals with milk can reduce plaque acid levels that are detrimental to teeth.

“Dry ready-to-eat, sugar-added cereals combine refined sugar and starch. When those carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria in the dental plaque on tooth surfaces produce acids,” Wu explained.

“Our study results show that only milk was able to reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops. We believe that milk helped mitigate the damaging effect of fermentable carbohydrate,” added Wu’s former graduate student Shilpa Naval, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Sugary foods, however, are not the lone cause of cavities or caries. This common health problem, which affects both children and adults, occurs when bacteria damage the enamel (the teeth’s hard surface). This often happens when you eat “sticky” foods like ice cream, honey, cookies, hard candy, and chips.

Other factors that contribute to cavities are dry mouth, eating disorders like anorexia, frequent snacking, and sipping sodas.

To prevent cavities, brush your teeth after every meal and see a dentist at least twice a year. Regular visits to a dentist combined with good brushing and flossing techniques can protect your pearly whites from cavities. This will help preserve your beautiful smile and boost your confidence.

A reliable dentist can give you expert advice on oral care and make you look good. That person can repair decayed or damaged teeth using dental implants, porcelain crowns, dental inlays and on lays, or dental veeners. These professionals are also knowledgeable in tooth whitening procedures to give you a better, brighter smile.

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Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the dean of the National University College of Dentistry, president and CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail jdlim2008@gmail.com or text 0917-8591515.

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