Treating yourself every now and then won't cause too much damage, but you may want to think twice about tucking into a ready-made meal a couple of times a week after reading this.
Leading dentist Dr. Sameer Patel, of Harley Street’s Elleven practice in London, UK, has revealed what hides in the most popular takeouts.
Up first we have Chinese and Indian food, which can stain your teeth. It's the curry powder which does this, as the deep pigments can stick to enamel, dramatically changing the shade. The dark liquids used to flavour, like soy sauce, have the same effect and can give you a rather unpleasant smile.
Dr. Patel compares this change to stains on a white T-shirt; so anything that would leave a mark on the top would have the same result on your teeth. He suggests eating spinach or broccoli at the beginning of your meal to form a protective film over your teeth and prevent them from getting coloured.
Your jaw can also be the source of a problem with certain foods, with kebabs the ultimate culprit in this case. When you chew the meat it can leave your mouth aching slightly and eating any tough foods can overwork your jaw, potentially straining it.
"Any time you overuse a certain set of muscles, it can lead to contracted muscles and related pain, including headaches, and toothaches over time," Dr Patel explained to MailOnline.
An easy way to avoid this is going for softer produce or if you really love your kebabs, perhaps cut them into smaller pieces and don't bite down so hard when eating them.
Fish and chips may be tasty but they can actually lead to tooth decay if you're not careful. As they're so full of starch its more likely you'll get bits stuck between your teeth and in crevices, eventually changing into sugar and rotting. There's also the added sugar in this meal that leads to decay and Dr Patel has noted what to look out for.
"Sugar can come in many different forms and the batter on fish and associated sauces, such as ketchup, are culprits for having a high sugar content," he explained.
Rinsing your mouth with water to unclog any food stuck will help prevent the chances of decay.
Last but not least: pizza. White pizza bases may not rot your teeth but they are full of refined carbs, containing simple sugars which cause a surge of acid in the mouth as they dissolve so quickly. Along with the acidity of the tomato base, a pizza could make your mouth super sensitive and, like mentioned above, the dough can get stuck in any gaps.
Floss regularly to get rid of any lurking food and use sugar-free chewing gum to aid throughout the day.
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