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Are the Number of Cavities One Gets Proportionate to Sugar Consumed?

Friday, August 20, 2010
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You’ve been working on an assignment all afternoon, slowly sipping from a huge mug of coffee giving you a good mental boost with every sip.

What’s wrong with that? Well read on........

Till quite recently it was assumed that the amount of sugar consumed was directly proportionate to the amount of cavities one developed. Carole Palmer, Professor of Public Health and Community Service at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine recently busted this myth.

Her report was published in the July/August 2010 issue of Nutrition Today.



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User Comments

13 September, 2010 | Rajani | Reply

Rajani Is it fine to give the kids one small bit of chocolate a day as a reward for the kids when they behave well or eat their food completely. My daughter loves chocolates and I give her a small piece when she completes her fruit or meal with out a fuss. She is 4.5 years old and not a very fussy eater with all the physical and medical parameters normal.

13 September, 2010 | Mrinal | Reply

Mrinal Oooh, chocolates - which child doesnt like them and why not.

I believe that children should be allowed to enjoy all foods/ treats/ desserts even on a daily basis - provided the parents are strict about the following two points -
1. Teach your child moderation, let your little 4-5 year old know that 1 small piece of chocolate is 1 serving and that eating more then that is not healthy.
2. Please get your child from this age on to lead an active, sports filled lifestyle. An active child eats better, sleeps better and performs better in school and has fewer chances of becoming an obese teenager or adult.

Encourage 1 -2 hours of outdoor play every single day. The less time spent in front of the TV the better.

14 September, 2010 | Rajani | Reply

Rajani I appreciate your immediate and prompt response. NutritionVista is a very comprehensive and educative website.

Thank you!

14 September, 2010 | Mrinal | Reply

Mrinal You are quite welcome!

One more thing, as Ms. Vijayalakshmi said-
Get your lil one into good oral hygiene habits.

06 September, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Poor oral hygiene can lead to bleeding gums providing bacteria to cause plaque. It might also escape from mouth into blood stream and increase chances of heart attack. It is found that these streptococcus bacteria can easily enter the blood stream and once in they cover themselves a protein on their surface. This leads to aggregation or clumping of platelets encasing the bacteria. In such a situation not only are they shielded from the immune system but also from antibiotics that may be used to treat infection. The clumping platelets may also lead to small blood clots and endocarditis or inflammation of blood vessels that block blood supply to brain or heart causing even more permanent damage

31 August, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Dear Sujata, how long your little son takes to eat food, sweets, milk etc is not in direct proportion to cavities. Yes for reasons of good eating discipline he should neither gulp his meal/beverages nor linger for very long.But what is relevant is, that after eating or drinking he will do well to rinse his mouth with water and brush his teeth before going to bed (and of course on rising).Brushing too many times is also not advisable as he will wear out his tooth enamel.

31 August, 2010 | Sujatha | Reply

Sujatha My son who is 2.5 years old tends to keep milk, chocolate, food in his mouth for a long time before chewing and gulping it down. Is this a problem? I keep telling him to eat faster but in vain. Also he likes sweets and chocolates a lot.

24 August, 2010 | Geetanjali Kelkar | Reply

Geetanjali Kelkar Frequent intake of little sugar increases more cavities than large amounts of sugar eaten infrequently. Another study suggests that exposure to acidic foods and beverages also aggravate dental erosion. Consuming sour candies with their high acid content are found to be more destructive than sweet candy due to its acid levels.

24 August, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Most of us end our meal with a dessert or at least a small piece of chocolate. Failure to remove the excess sugar sticking to the teeth, helps the bacteria multiply faster increasing the thickness and size of plaque. This is because some of the bacteria turn the sugar into a kind of glue that they use to stick themselves to the tooth surface, making it harder for the bacteria to get washed away with your saliva. This now sets the ground for the onward onslaught.


24 August, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Good oral hygiene practices, like gargling well immediately after every meal, brushing the teeth twice a day (morning and before going to bed), drinking water while having food and after should be practiced by adults and kids to maintain healthy teeth.

24 August, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Very true Viji.Gargling well (and maybe even brushing) soon after every meal should take care of this, but, most people don't do this anymore. We must also encourage children to get into this habit so that they continue to have healthy teeth as they grow older.

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