Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Worst Breakfast for Your Teeth

Coffee and a doughnut, a common, quick breakfast you may grab on the way to work, is probably rotting your teeth.

Mornings are hectic! It's so much faster to zip out of the house without eating breakfast and just gulp down that doughnut and coffee on the way. But beware. This could be the worst possible breakfast for your teeth.

Not only have doughnuts been identified as a risk factor for gum inflammation and cavities, but also they are packed with sugar. How much? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is five times the amount of sugar in a plain doughnut than there is in an oatmeal cookie.

The amount of sugar and cream in your coffee also can have a direct effect on the amount of cavity-causing bacteria that land on your teeth. Tannins that are found in coffee etch into the pits and grooves of the tooth enamel, producing a rough stained surface.

What can you do to lessen the breakfast sugar bath your teeth receive from this combination? "Don't nurse your coffee or pick at that doughnut throughout the morning," says Paul Bussman, DMD, FAGD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. "When you eat your doughnut quickly, it limits the exposure time to the sugar bacteria attack."

He also advises, "Cut back on the amount of cream and sugar for your coffee. Try picking up fruit or another morning meal substitute."

Want a celebrity smile? The Journal of the American Dental Association offers these tips to keep your teeth white:

* Avoid drinking too much coffee or red wine.

* Use toothpaste that has hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.

* Floss.

* If you don't floss, use a mouthwash, such as Listerine, to reduce plaque and gingivitis in areas between the teeth.

* What you eat, matters. Sodas, including diet sodas, are high in acidity and aren't good for your teeth. Eat sugary snacks only if you can brush your teeth immediately.

* Don't ignore changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite and pay attention to gums that bleed.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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