Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Cariogenic - What Rots the Teeth

Surely it's worth avoiding cariogenic foods so there's less of this
(photo courtesy of NTM-A)


Adjective. Mid-20th century.
[from CARIES + -O- + -GENIC.]

Causing or promoting tooth decay.

Sugary and starchy foods, sweets, crisps, popcorn, fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, etc, etc - most people are pretty used to having the risks of such vices drilled into them from an early age. And the risks are apparently quite extreme - while cariogenic doesn't sound even a fraction as scary as, say, carcinogenic, the consequences of not looking after our gnashers can be pretty severe, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia and rheumatoid arthritis. And, your breath's gonnna stink and nobody's gonna wanna snog you. Or talk to you. Or be anywhere near you. Fortunately, this is obviously a matter of considerable concern as the internet is awash with articles on what foods you shouldn't eat for the sake of your teeth. While most of these are quite obvious, there is a lot of good advice about avoiding cariogenic habits and not just foods. For example, constant snacking should be avoided obviously, but not just because snacks are often sugary, but also because snacking throughout the day, even if small amounts of sugar are involved, gives your pearly whites no respite and the nasty bacteria a constant supply of sugar for them to convert into acids. Now, if you're anything like me, you've been uncomfortably licking your teeth throughout this post, so I'm off to give them a brush; I think you probably should to.

Any dental tips?

What cariogenic foods do you struggle to avoid?

Brace yourself for an amalgam of incisive wisdom in the comment box below.