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MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012

Holistic view of mind, body and soul


Chew on this What you eat has a lot to do with your dental health. So if you’ve noticed that you seem to be battling more cavities, decays and bad breath, you might want to recheck what you’ve been eating Ranjani Rajendra


ow often have you had to turn away as a friend leaned in closer to talk to you, simply because they have the worst breath ever? Or have you noticed that almost every time you visit the dentist it is for a tooth ache, cavity or simply tooth decay? You might dismiss most of these problems due to lack of oral hygiene, but little do you know that your teeth are a reflection of what you eat, much like your physical appearance. Those pearlies that you so love to flash do bear the brunt of most of the junk food you keep downing with no second thoughts. While enough has been said about the effects of changing lifestyles and bad eating habits on health, not too many realise that it does ruin that perfect

smile too. “It is no hidden fact that people consume a lot more junk food these days when compared to earlier. What they don’t realise is that junk food is more sticky and is retained in the grooves of the teeth, giving rise to the number of bacteria and thereby accelerating dental problems like tooth decay, halitosis, cavities etc,” says Dr Rashmi Shetty, a Bangalore-based conservative and endodontist. “Earlier people ate a lot of fibrous foods, which was not just good for health but for the teeth too. But these days processed foods are consumed a lot more and they are finer and rather sticky with a high retention factor. Aerated drinks too are to blame for erosion of teeth,” says Dr Rashmi. Problems like caries (caused by acids due to foods with fermented sugars and starches), halitosis (unpleasant odours from the mouth), tooth erosion, demineralisation (teeth getting dissolved) etc are

WHEN COMPARED TO FIBROUS FOODS, JUNK OR PROCESSED FOOD IS A LOT MORE STICKIER AND TENDS TO RETAIN IN THE GROOVES OF THE TEETH. THIS LEADS TO BUILD UP OF HARMFUL BACTERIA AND EVENTUALLY TOOTH DECAY. some of the common problems that occur these days due to changes in dietary habits. “We see a lot of cases of tooth decay in the 18 to 30 age group. After the age of 35, many people present with age-related dental problems. But the rate of dental issues in the younger lot is what is alarming. It is a clear reflection of the food they are consuming,” she explains. The tooth enamel especially is made up of minerals. This is constantly demineralised and remineralised. But the bacteria that fester in your mouth

Teach your child self control due to poor dietary habits and dental hygiene produce acids and this hinders the remineralisation process. Given the trend, most dentists focus on preventive aspects even in young adults, while compared to earlier when it was considered to be exclusively for paediatric dentistry. n Getting your teeth cleaned and checked once every six or eight months is recommended. n For those with a high risk of caries, fluoride application to strengthen the tooth helps. n Caries is mainly seen in grooves where food often gets stuck. So using sealants to fill these grooves might be a good idea. “Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, using a mouth rinse and cleaning your tongue, also helps curb the incidence of these problems to a great extent,” says Dr Rashmi.

Dr Diana Monteiro

Every time I go out with my 4-yearold son it’s a challenge. If we go to a store he wants everything. If I refuse he will throw a tantrum. It gets embarrassing as others think I am denying him. The truth is he is just too used to getting his way. How do I instil discipline and enforce the fact that he cannot behave this way? A young child of four is usually testing limits and thus they will keep doing things they are not supposed to do. Kids at this age are able to do things more independently and are temperamental. They have not learned self-control yet, so parents have to teach them by setting appropriate boundaries and limits. A sign of testing limits is seen when a child is constantly asking for or doing something they should not be. As a parent, it’s come down to one thing — consistency. If you are not consistent in setting boundaries, then the child will keep pushing the limits. So all significant adults involved in the child’s life need to provide the same and consistent limit setting with the child. When your child throws a tantrum, you have to still stay consistent and not give them what they want. The tantrum is to get what they want; thus by giving it to them, all you have done is taught the child that throwing a tantrum will ensure they get what they want. If you consistently apply the right limits, the tantrums will cease, but remember that your tolerance has to be high as you might have to put up with 10-15 tantrums before there is a change. Explain to the child why he cannot have what he wants. Promote positive behaviour with rewards, show love and affection, stay detached from the situation when you get upset at them and use the opportunity to teach them the right way to behave. Parenting is an exhausting yet enriching experience. Your child depends on you to learn behaviour. (The writer is a counselling psychologist at the Hyderabad Academy of Psychology. You can write to her at

Postnoon E-Paper for 02 July 2012  
Postnoon E-Paper for 02 July 2012  

The official e-paper of Postnoon - Hyderabad's first afternoon newspaper