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Sweets or No Sweets?

We all love sweets. Especially during festival times, we will be eating all kinds of sweets. While we enjoy sweets and the festival, we forget many important things, which later lead to dental problems. It is not the sweets alone which cause tooth decay. Our eating habits play an equal role.

Spending an hour sucking a sticky candy will do more damage to our teeth than eating an entire chocolate bar in one shot. The longer the tooth is exposed to sweet food; more likely is the chance of tooth decay.

There are many kinds of invisible micro-organisms (bacteria), which live in our mouth. Some of these bacteria produce acid from the food we eat. This is more likely with sweet food. When this acid comes in contact with the tooth surface it causes damage to it. This is the reason for blaming sweet food as a main reason for tooth decay. The acid produced by sweet food and bacteria slowly dissolve tooth surface, which causes tooth decay over a long time.

Sticky food tends to get stuck in our teeth for a longer period of time, which in turn causes more damage. So if we can reduce the time that sweet food comes in contact with our teeth, we can save them from future damage.

However, sweet food is not a total no-no. We are lucky that we have a natural system, which helps to neutralize the acids produced. Saliva being alkaline in nature neutralizes the acid formed by the bacteria. People with more saliva secretion in their mouth have the benefit of less chance of tooth decay. Food that increases saliva flow is also considered good for teeth. It is also advisable to eat sweet food during a meal as saliva production increases at this time. Sugar free chewing gums, vegetables, etc are also considered tooth-savers.

High sugar and acid drinks should be limited in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Fruit juices such as orange juice and soft drinks contain sugar. Many of these drinks are acidic too, and frequent exposure to acidity may also harm teeth. For this reason, it is best to drink fruit juices, carbonated drinks and squash with meal or snacks.

Food containing sucrose, fructose, lactose, starch is more harmful. Few examples are
  • Sucrose: candy, cookies, cake, fruit drinks, soda
  • Fructose: fruit, fruit juice
  • Lactose: milk
  • Starch: processed foods such as bread, potato chips.
It is not the level of sugar in our diet that rots our teeth; it is how we choose to eat it. Listed below are few tips for choosing the right way of eating

  • After your snack, rinse your mouth with water or chew some sugar-free gum.
  • Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva. This will help to cleanse as well as neutralize the acidic level of the mouth.
  • If you choose to have a soft drink, use a straw. This will limit the amount of sugar touching your teeth.
  • Do not try to sip or hold your drink around the mouth as this increases the likelihood of dental decay.
  • Limit the amount of sweet you take throughout the day. This will reduce the repeated exposure of sweet food with the tooth surface. Food intake at short intervals prevents mouth coming to a normal ph level.
  • Try to drink chilled soft drinks as research has shown that cooler temperatures are less likely to encourage tooth erosion.
  • Avoid sticky sweet food as they remain in mouth for a longer period.
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol to avoid stains.

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Call (977-1) 4169141

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or drop by our Dental Clinic at
Heritage Plaza II, Kamaladi, Kathmandu, Nepal.
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What our patients say about the dentist and dental clinic.

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What to write! Perfect place for dental treatment very friendly staffs, doctors, what a hospitality! I've sent one of my friend to Dent Inn (US citizen), after his treatment he invited me for dinner said, & I've never seen such a nice place, people instruments for dental treatment even in USA.

-Raju Dhakal