We all know sugary treats are bad for our teeth, but drinking a glass of milk with sugary cereals or snacks can actually neutralize some of the effect. Milk, as it turns out, is better than water at preventing the bacteria in plaque from producing acids when they are feasting on the sugar from those holiday cookies. So it must be important for Santa to have both his milk and cookies, right?
The short answer: only if he has the cookies first and washes them down with milk.
How Dairy Fights Tooth Decay
Based on current research, as reported by Nutrition Australia, milk and dairy products such as cheeses can actually reduce tooth decay as well. Not only do they contain calcium and phosphorus, but also proteins called caseins, which combine together to form a protective film on the enamel – or the surface of your teeth. This coating helps to prevent your teeth from incurring decay caused by common bacterial acids. Calcium and phosphorus are both minerals that strengthen and repair tooth enamel that has started to dissolve due to these acid attacks.
The American Dental Association (ADA) proposes the order in which you eat sugary foods and milk products can also make a difference to your dental health. This is because drinking milk after eating sugary foods can lower harmful acidic levels in your mouth. So if you happen to catch Santa with the treats you left out for him, make sure to tell him not to have milk with his cookies – instead, wash them down with milk afterwards.