Why it is so importantMany scientific studies demonstrate the clear relationship between nutrition quality and caries.
Already in 1937 there was a scientific investigation regarding dental caries in children in the Gomser Valley in the Canton of Wallis. For a very long time this valley was very difficult to access and for that reason quite isolated. The means of life were very meager and food was scarce. The children there had hardly any caries. With the opening of a mountain pass and the arrival of a railway connection, the lifestyle habits and nutrition of the inhabitants in the valley changed. Industrially produced foodstuffs, especially flour and sugar, found their way increasingly into the valley. The new way of life resulted in a large and fast increase in the amount of dental caries in children.
Carbohydrates (for example sugar) combined with the bacteria found in every human create acids. These have a direct influence on the surface of the teeth and over time destroy the tooth enamel. The result is carious defects which in everyday language are called “holes”.
The following list gives you an overview of how many grams of sugar are contained in 100 grams of various foodstuffs:
|Hard candies||90g||Orange juice||7-11g|
The cariogenity, that is, the potential of foodstuffs to induce caries is dependent on several variables. Easily metabolized carbohydrates are the main cause of caries. To these belong sugar and food containing white flour. Foodstuffs that are sticky pose an even larger danger. The development of caries is promoted by a long duration (sticky constitution) in the mouth and the frequent consumption of such foodstuffs.
In industrially produced foods sugar is usually referred to in scientific terms, for example:
|Fructose||Fruit sugar, fructose|
|Glucose syrup||Corn syrup|
|Inverted sugar||50/50 Mixture of Glucose and Fructose|
|Lactose||Milk sugar (from mammals and breast milk)|
|Sucrose||Crystal sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar|
The carbohydrates listed above have a sweetening function and thus are often used in candies.
- foodstuffs that have a high sugar content and are sticky in texture should be consumed as little as possible and when, then eaten only at the major mealtimes
- sugary snacks (soft drinks as well) between meals should generally be avoided
- give your child fresh fruit and milk or water instead