As the days get shorter and the cold weather changes our eating habits, ordering a takeaway becomes a more appealing option. However, before dialling your local eatery, it may be worth sparing a thought for your teeth.
Dental expert Sameer Patel warns that most popular takeaway foods contain lots of added ingredients that can wreak havoc on our teeth as well as our waistlines, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
* Italian: Acid erosion – Pizza and pasta are two of the most popular dishes and are rarely associated with tooth decay. However, white pizza bases and pastas are refined carbohydrates which contain simple sugars that dissolve quickly. This causes a surge of acid inside the mouth and, when combined with the acidity of tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel and ultimately lead to sensitivity.
* Indian and Chinese: Tooth staining – It’s not just dark beverages such as tea and coffee that will stain your teeth but any heavily pigmented food can lead to tooth discoloration — and curry powder is one such culprit. Whilst this staple ingredient of Indian cuisine isn’t particularly dark, the deep pigment can stain teeth yellow over time. Dark liquids used to flavour foods, such as soy sauce, can produce the same effect so if you do eat sushi or Chinese food, use the soy sauce sparingly.
*Fish and Chips: Tooth Decay – Starchy foods are notorious for getting stuck in between your teeth and lodged between crevices. While they may not necessarily taste sweet, the starch can begin converting to sugar almost immediately through the pre-digestive process that begins in the mouth. Processed foods are also notorious for using sugar as a preservative or flavour enhancer.
* Kebabs: Jaw ache – Believe it or not, the foods you eat can have a big impact on the health of the joints in your jaw and the tough texture of the meat used for kebabs is sometimes associated with jaw ache. Eating a high amount of very chewy foods can overwork and overextend your jaw – leading to strains.