Impact of lockdown coffee and food trends on our Teeth

top view fast food mix greek salad mushroom pizza chicken roll chocolate muffins penne pasta and cup of coffee on the table

Written by Dr. Tanya Kusum

April 17, 2020

As we’re arguably embracing this lockdown imposition, food has emerged to be the greatest unifiers amidst this major global healthcare crisis.

The stuck people (safe – be grateful folks) at home are indulging in finding and developing all kinds of creativity. From taking up sketching, whipping up coffee to the extent of cutting their own hair for makeovers to keep themselves entertained.

They’re doing it for the Fam, to show off on their Gram’.

Lockdown Struggles : Give me that Starbucks coffee

Brutalizing the food and entertainment industry presently, this lockdown has successfully brought out the chef,  inside all of us whilst fighting for survival inside and outside our homes.

Our daily battle in the kitchen has found us in the episode of the Mystery Box challenge in Masterchef Australia. The cooking competition where contestants have to make the best dish with the limited resources featured in this lockdown. We’re missing our morning coffee jolts. The best example being Dalgona coffee which is made with three ingredients and three hours of whisking.

These micro trends like Dalgona coffee are reshaping the online food industry are our own attempts to satiate ourselves when eating out is a luxury we can no longer afford. Recently horrifying news is the isolation of 72 families who came in contact with pizza delivery guy who’s been infected with novel COVID-19. Let’s make sure we are at the prime of our mental, dental and overall health by cooking at home.

Kitchen trends here to stay

Quaratine days with Dalgona

It is the riveting trend subsuming our very own home Starbucks feels.

Americans consume 75% of all their caffeine in the form of coffee, which explains this South Korean trend going viral absolutely.

Pizza’s

‘It’s Friday, time for Joey’s special – Two pizzas’ Binge-watching Friend’s this lockdown reminds us of the stress-free binging times, where pizza could solve all our humanly problems possible. Also reminds us every time, we went out for pizza and merely took it for granted.

What do we do then?

Bake it at home starting from the base to the sauces.

“How to make bread” hit an all-time high during the week of March 25.

Baking cakes and choco-chip cookies

Before the coronavirus, people baked to relieve stress and feed their anxiety.

In 2018, psychology professor told the New York Times that “procrastibaking,” as he called it, could help us

“feel skilled, nurturing and virtuous in the present while distracting us from the future.” Our newfound love for

bread could be an extension of that, since it’s reassuring to mix, knead, proof, shape, and bake.

Drinking

The occasional drinkers have comfortably been day binge drinking with all this time to kill. From making wine at

home to attending zoom house parties millennials have mastered social distancing by giving into various coping mechanisms.

57% of overweight adults self-report frequent emotional eating (study) in studies conducted by the American Psychological  Association, just so we’re clear this is way before pre – COVID-19 lockdown.

The case of procasti-baking has surged, just like TikTok has unknowingly plagued more of our lives.

Let’s see what impact these emerging  food trends like coffee have on our teeth :

Dalgona Coffee

Tannins present in coffee are a type of polyphenol that breaks in water. The breakdown causes the chromogens ( colour compounds ) to stick onto our tooth, hence staining it.

Tooth Decay –

Each sip of coffee, the bacteria in our mouth ends up lowering the pH level of our entire oral cavity. Hence increasing acidity

that enables demineralisation on the enamel of each tooth, gradually weakening them and predisposing them to tooth decay and erosion. It also increases the dryness of mouth and halitosis (bad breath).

Coffee stimulates muscles by overworking them at times, which increases clenching of the tooth while you sleep, subconsciously.

This clenching habit known as Bruxism causes inflammation and fatigued jaw muscles manifesting more in times of great stress, like these days.

Repercussions range from muscle soreness to severe generalised enamel wear and tear. Severe cases could even result in chipping and fracture of the tooth.

Pizza and heavy sauces

They stain more than our clothes. The effect of these on our tooth is often irreversible and the first step to tooth decay. Hot pizzas when put in your mouth could also give you a burning sensation on the roof of your mouth called pizza burn.

Baking cakes and choco-chip cookies

When the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle first explained that sweet foods like soft figs caused tooth decay, nobody practically believed him.

Now science and statistics support his statement, stating although sugar does not directly affect tooth decay but the chain of events after consuming sugar significantly affect it.

How are these foods impacting your teeth?

Consumption of sugar in your teas and coffees most of them which are processed ones these days increase the activity of oral flora and bacteria.

They produce acid as a byproduct which reduces the pH level of the saliva in the mouth overall. Hence increasing the demineralization of the inorganic compounds of the outer tooth structure called enamel. Enamel which is the strongest substance in the body is 96% made up of inorganic minerals. This is how tooth decay and cavities start riots in our mouth, slowly and gradually with each bite of your favourite chocolate.

There are lots of components combined in these processes like saliva composition, nature of sugar, time, frequency and duration of sugar intake. Wherein our mouth is a battleground constantly trying to ward off the deleterious effects of these bacteria.

Drinking – The critical pH to be maintained by the saliva in the oral cavity is 5.5. Drinks like beer, vodka and wine inevitably reduce the pH level which causes hyperactivity of bacteria present. Catalyzing the demineralization process, it gradually results in erosion and tooth decay formation.

Guidelines advise drinking no more than 14 units per week =6 pints of beer, 6 glasses of wine or 14 single spirits.

They say 21 days suffices to make or break a habit. Make sure you learn to utilise this time by taking up healthy eating and drinking habits to cope with stress. Other than health issues, tooth decay is the major drawback of binge eating. Along with unlearning the unhealthy habits. Always keep in mind that nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels ‘

We’re all in this together amidst this uncertainty, until then we all should  meditate, exercise, eat healthily, we should focus on the positive things in life and remember

‘ The only way to predict the future is to create it ‘ – Abraham Lincoln

Highlights

  • Lockdown trends have tremendously affected dental health.
  • Effects of binge eating and excessive tea – coffee drinking have higher risks of developing tooth cavities.
  • Constant snacking causes the food to remain on the teeth surfaces for a long time. This causes the micro-organisms to ferment the sugars and release acids and dissolve the tooth structure causing tooth decay.
  • Healthy eating and reducing the amount of sugars in the diet can prevent your teeth problems.

What is your Oral Type?

Everybody has a different oral type.

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