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319843.  Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:18 am Reply with quote

Question: What foods are worst for your teeth?

Forfiet: sweets, sugary food, chocolate

Answer: Crisps and raisins.

It isn't sugar that rots your teeth, it's the bacteria that feed off the sugars stuck on your teeth, however these bacteria have more favoured foods.

Harald Linke of the New York University Dental Center has conducted numerous studies on the staying power of food on teeth. He has found that cooked starches, particularly potato starch in products such as potato chips, cling longer to the teeth than many sugar foods, like chocolate bars, thus leading to a longer period of acid production.

321076.  Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:38 am Reply with quote

I remember seeing a dentist on TV once (maybe it was a news report or documentary or something) saying that sweets and chocolate aren't too bad. You eat them, sugar levels in your mouth go up, then you finish, and they return to normal again. The big problem with sweets and the like are if you steadily snack on them throughout the day. That way you keep sugar levels in your mouth consistently high.

By contrast, said the dentist, something like raisins are terrible. They tend to stick to your teeth, or between your teeth, where they keep contributing sugars to the environment in your mouth giving the bacteria plenty of fuel to attack your teeth.

Not heard the bit about potato starch, though.

321195.  Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:56 am Reply with quote

My dentist says if you eat sweets, make it chocolate because that melts and disappears from your mouth reasonably quickly. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

322537.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:45 am Reply with quote

I think the point here, which I perhaps didn't make too well above, is that crisps and raisins stick in your teeth and hang around for ages as food for the bacteria.

Sweets and chocolate on the other hand will dissolve in saliva, especially chocolate (as Jenny says), but even something as sticky as wine gums will disappear well before bits of crisp.

322591.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:54 am Reply with quote

I remember a few years ago trendy mothers nationwide were mortified to discover that they were ruining their little bratsí teeth by forcing them to eat endless amounts of fashionable raw fruit, instead of beastly common sweets. It was the acid in the fruit that was doing the damage (far more damage than any amount of sweets could ever do). I wonder if this is still the case, or whether raw fruit has since been rehabilitated?

Certainly, I took great pleasure at the time in asking people which they thought was worse for children's teeth, apples or wine gums.


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