Breaking News: Milk Is High In Sugar

cerealMilk has always been hailed as being good for your teeth because it contains calcium. Calcium helps strengthen your tooth enamel which protects your teeth against injury and decay. Your whole body needs calcium for bone strength and to help certain systems function properly, so milk is definitely good for you, but did you know that one serving of milk can have anywhere from 9 to 14 grams of sugar? Yup, milk is high in sugar, so how can it be good for your teeth?

Milk and Cereal

Milk may be good for your teeth but milk and cereal not so much. Cereal alone is high in sugars and starches which are bad for your teeth. Studies have found that eating milk with cereal is even worse. When milk is mixed with cereal it increases the acidity in plaque because the milk becomes thicker, more sweet, and syrupy. The sugars in milk or cereal do not directly cause tooth damage. Instead the sugars are acted upon by harmful bacteria. When the bacteria metabolize sugars and starches they produce enamel eating acids that cause tooth decay. Research shows that the mixture most detrimental to a child’s tooth health proved to be sugary cereals mixed with milk, and a glass of fruit juice. Sound familiar?

Just Milk

Milk alone, however, has a different affect on teeth. Twenty people were given dry sugary cereal to eat. After eating the cereal some of the twenty were given a glass of milk, others apple juice, and the rest were given water to drink. The acidity of the participant’s dental plaque was measured. Those who drank milk had less acidic dental plaque compared with those who didn’t. The results showed that milk actually reduces the acidity of dental plaque.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.