Friday, 10 April 2020

Mind These Food Alternatives!

Updated: May 3, 2014 12:29 pm

When we eat different kinds of starchy foods and drink sugary beverages we not only feed ourselves we also feed the plaque that can cause problems in the mouth. There are some foods that invite tooth decay and others which help combat plaque build up and help keep teeth and gums healthy.

Juices: Soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices seem to provide at least some nutritional benefits and are often treated as the alternative to sugary sodas. However, according to experts, these drinks are loaded with sugar which eventually causes tooth decay.

Children are especially susceptible to tooth decay caused by sugary drinks depending on their sippy cup usage, the pout of the cup is in close contact with the tooth enamel and their teeth are constantly in sugary drink. Even pure fruit juice is advised to be given only in limited quantities because of its naturally high sugar content. Mothers often give their children fruit juice, milk or fruit snacks before bed. The sugar coats the teeth overnight and can cause early childhood tooth rot. Prevent this overnight decay by always brushing your teeth and your kid’s teeth before bed.

Tea: Tea contains compounds that interact with plaque, kill the bacteria that produce tooth attacking acid. This prevents cavities, reduces inflammation and the chances of gum disease. Make sure that you drink sugar-free tea. Go for sugarless chewing gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help rinse harmful acid off your teeth to help preserve tooth enamel.

Regularise carbs: Your teeth will thank you if you step away from the carbs. Foods that contain sugars and starches (carbohydrates) fuel the bacteria that live inside your mouth. As I said before these bacteria produce acids that destroy tooth enamel, which ultimately results in tooth decay and cavities. You don’t have to quit the carbs altogether, though. Just brush after you eat sugary and starchy foods, and limit snacking between meals.

Avoid lemony tang: A number of people eat lemons without realising that the lemon’s acidity causes teeth to erode. Get your lemon fix by drinking lemonade instead, but beware of both bottled and homemade lemonade mixed with tons of sugar. You can even slice a lemon and toss it in a glass of water overnight. The lemon juice will infuse the water, giving you that lemon tang you desire without the dangers of straight lemon juice on your pearly whites. Sipping through a straw also helps the liquid bypass your teeth and prevent additional damage.

Beware of cough syrups: Cough syrups and cough drops often contain large quantities of sugar. According to some doctors cough drops can be as damaging to your teeth as sucking on hard candy. Plus, most people don’t realise just how much sugar is in these medications, so they don’t brush after consuming them, which, of course, can cause tooth decay and cavities. So, look for sugar-free versions of cough medicines, sip more water and brush regularly when taking any medication. You can go for herbal infusions like ginger, pepper, cinnamon etc. to get relief from cough.

By Nibhanapudi Suguna

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