I was having a recent conversation with some short people in my life about the affects of food on your teeth. Let me set it up for you. I was watching with horror, a small child ingesting large quantities of candy. This "candy" was housed in a tube that looked similar to toothpaste but it was pretty much the opposite of that in regards to your teeth. Anyway, I was sitting there enjoying an early spring evening when this kid was sitting across from me squeezing this nasty paste/liquid into his mouth and gulping it down like it was water. (The only thing this crap had in common with water was that it was wet.) Anyway, I asked him what it was and he looked at me as if I had four heads. What an idiot I was not to know, right? He was too miffed to answer apparently, so he just kept on eating or drinking or what ever you do with that stuff. Strangely enough, this was just the first course.
Next he moved on to a delicious plate of processed chicken nuggets and ketchup along with a side of warm apples. Sound good? Well the chicken, as I've seen on a gang of hungry little creature's plates, was unlike any chicken known to man. It was, I believe, cooked, thrown into a blender with a slew of chemicals and preservatives, squeezed into the shape of a dinosaur (what the hell does chicken have to do with dinosaurs I have no clue), breaded and frozen. Oh and let's not forget the ketchup for dipping. The side of warm apples also had no resemblance to an actual apple. It was perfect little yellow squares suspended in what looked like a brownish colored hair gel. All washed down with an enormous vat of none other than Mountain Dew. I mean the cup was about twice the size of the kid's head. Every time he took a gulp his little face disappeared. And for dessert, yes there was dessert, was a piece of coffee cake and the remainder of what I refer to as "The Tube".
Thank Christ that child was not related to me. I seriously wanted to take his parents out back and beat the crap out of them but I did not know them well enough to even approach the subject healthy eating let alone put the smack down. Anyway, this spurred the conversation with the shorties in my life. (Non-relation youngins but still very important to me.) I started by asking them what their friends ate for lunch at school. They described a parade of disgusting food and while I was gagging with the thought of a rainbow of florescent colored jello I asked how many of them brush their teeth after lunch or any time throughout the day. Without thinking for more than a few seconds they both echoed the same sentiment, nobody.
Now you would have to be a total moron to not know that sugar rots your teeth. But what I think people are not grasping is the amount of hidden sugar that is in foods marketed toward children. You know the "food", and I use the term loosely, that I am talking about. Anything with colors not found in nature or that they should not come in. For example, pink or brown milk, almost all candy and jellos, day glo orange mac and cheese, etc. Or things that are all that lovely brown, fried color. Not only are these things completely foul, but they are also usually sugar bombs, even if they do not taste particularly sweet. Food should not look like a caricature of itself. Don't be fooled tall people! These foods also come in adult form. Read the ingredient list. If it looks like you need a chemistry degree to read it, you should probably put it back on the shelf. And don't feel bad if no one buys it, it will still be edible in 45 years.
I understand that not everyone thinks like I do and that this blog is border-lining an ego fest, but get over it. It's information that needs to be pointed out. Not only is that kind of food barf worthy but it will destroy teeth especially if the kid (or adult) does not have the best oral hygiene. Here is a list of foods/substances that are like battery acid to your teeth:
I could seriously go on for an eternity, but you get the point.
Also do not be fooled by the labels that say whole grain or vitamin fortified such as breakfast cereals and other boxed items, they are still sugar city!
Things you should eat to promote healthy teeth:
It's pretty obvious people...the stuff your doctor and other amazing health professionals have been telling you your entire life.
I know I said to be careful with fruit juice but do not take fruit out of your diet. It has so many amazing benefits, just make sure that you rinse your mouth after you eat or drink fruit because it still has a lot of acid and natural sugars. Not to mention that most fruit juices, especially the ones made for kids have boatloads of added sugar and other yucky crap that I wouldn't feed to an alligator.
And it doesn't hurt to take your vitamins! I will expand more about that in a later post. Stay tuned.
So the bottom line is try to stay as natural with your foods as you possibly can. I know it's not easy but do the best you can. And when you cannot seem to resist that hot pink piece of taffy that looks like a chunk of linoleum, make sure to brush your teeth after you eat it and try not to have it too often. Your teeth will thank you and your dentist will get really bored because he/she won't have to drill or fill! If you cannot brush right away, rinsing is the next best thing, especially for non-sticky things such as sugary drinks. (I hope I don't really have to say this but rinse with plain water ya dummy.)
As for the kiddos, you are in control of what they eat and when and how they brush their teeth. Think about what is going into their little bodies before you serve it to them. No kid has ever died of not eating junk food. Start them on the right track and you will have a great outcome. They will be happier, more energetic, healthier and will love you more for not making them get a shot at the dentist every time they come in.
Office Manager/Sugar Nazi