Increasing consumption of junk food has led to several dental problems in children with early tooth decay and cavities. Among 100 patients that a dentist sees every month, 30 to 40 of them are below 25 years old. Tis increasing number reflects the change in eating habits that is having a bad impact on oral health.
Dr. Satyendra Kumar, chief dentist at Yashoda Hospitals said, ” The problem with junk food is that it is very sticky and gets stuck in the teeth. Within four hours, an acid is released which begins to harm the teeth. This acid is the major cause of harm to the teeth. The food is so sticky that it can’t be removed even with toothpicks.” With night brushing and floss not being a regular habit, teeth tend to develop cavities The major problem is most children fail to pay attention to toothache. It is only when the pain is unbearable, do they approach dentists. By that time it is too late. Doctor Kumar explained, “Majority of the youngsters walk in too late. Their teeth are so badly damaged that one has to opt for root canal treatment.”
According to Dr. Venkatesh, senior dentist with Apollo Hospitals, said, “The teeth of children are damaged at a very young age. They tend to develop cavities fast. The problem is that the base of the permanent teeth is not very strong. During their growing years, children need more calcium-rich foods like milk. Instead, the are eating highly processed foods, which makes their teeth under-calcified by the time they are 15 to 17 years of age. Bad dental health affects their overall oral health where issues of bad breath, gingivitis, bleeding gums are very high.” Therefore, I is important to ensure that parents are educated to give their children the right nutritional foods.
Doctor M. Prathyusha, consultant dental and cosmetic surgeon says, “The problem in India is that night brushing is not a daily practice. It has been found that 80% of the people who visit dental clinics do not brush at night. It is very important for parents to brush so that the same habits will be followed by their children. Brush not only outside, but also internally so that the food stuck in the gumas is removed.”
Food Good For The Teeth
**Apples are nature’s toothbrush, because they stimulate the gums, increase saliva flow and reduce the build-up of cavity-causing plaque. They are loaded with 15 vitamins and over 10 minerals that the body needs.
** Celery and Carrots protect the teeth in two ways. Extra chewing produces more saliva that neutralises the acid produced by bacteria. Also, chewing naturally abrasive foods massages the gums and cleans between the teeth.
** Cheese is derived from milk and is a great source of calcium, which is required for development of bones and teeth. Eating cheese results in a coating of calcium on teeth that protects against cavities. As cheese has lots of fat, it has to be eaten in moderation.
** Green tea contains anti-oxidants called catechins that kill the bacteria in your mouth.
** Kiwi and strawberries are great sources of Vitamin C.
** Drinking sufficient water keeps your gums hydrated, which is the best way to stimulate saliva that is the greatest defence against bacteria that causes plaque and cavities. ** Milk and milk products protect teeth against gum diseases and keeps the jawbone strong and healthy.
** Lean protein like eggs and beef are rich in phosphorous, which help maintain strong tooth enamel.
———— Kaniza Garari.