Acid Attack While Playing TV and Computer Games

Why video gaming can be bad for your dental health

Parents have been complaining for years that their children are stuck in front of a monitor all day playing video games instead of being outside playing sports. As we all know, our health can be improved if we engage in regular physical activity.

Spending hours in front of a gaming console or PC monitor will not lead to any improvement in your physical health. It is, according to a recent survey, even worse. The study suggests that the snacking which so often accompanies video gaming and results in weight problems can also lead to poor oral health.

Those who play sports are half as likely to develop tooth decay as those who sit in front of a gaming console. This is a topic of grave concern to dental insurance providers who often actively encourage the general public to participate more fully in both physical and dental health activities.

The research suggests that teenagers who spend most of their time gaming are more likely to consume foods and snacks with higher levels of sugar. Obesity and possibly diabetes are not the only consequences of this practice; tooth decay is also likely.

The popularity of online games and in-home gaming systems is not confined to youngsters; adults love them too. Many become so involved and obsessed with their chosen games that they do not have time for the more mundane things in life such as basic personal hygiene and oral care. The Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says that this study has revealed previously unknown correlations between gamers’ dietary habits and the subsequent risk of tooth decay. He went on to highlight how important a stable diet was to maintain good oral health.

Gamers are under acid attack

Habitual gamers spend hours in front of the gaming consoles surrounded by bottles of fizzy drinks and bags of snacks on which they are continually snacking. The foods they are eating are attacking their teeth at the same time as they are attacking their video opponents.

The amount of sugars and preservatives is higher in snack foods. Sugars can keep teeth under acid attack for up to an hour after consuming the snack. The amount of bacteria responsible for attacking the teeth and gums will be increased by the reaction between sugars and plaque.

Foods containing acids can do just as much harm. A packet of salt and vinegar crisps can do as much harm to the gums and teeth, if not more, than sugary foods. The acids in the snacks attack the enamel surface of the teeth making them soft and vulnerable to attack.

Parents’ rules must prevail.

The study focused on teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16. It suggested that those youngsters who snacked whilst playing games or watching TV were more likely to suffer tooth decay and gum disease than those who avoided snacking.

Those children who were under parental control in regard to snacking while watching TV or just snacking were 30% less likely to have major tooth and gum problems.

Eating regular meals is far healthier than having several snacking sessions throughout the day, not so much for the food value, although a correct diet is healthier, but because of the amount of sugar and acid that remains in the mouth and is constantly in contact with teeth and gums.

Healthy teeth and gums in your children can be achieved by making sure they eat the right food at the right times.

If you want to keep your natural teeth looking good, you should eat sensibly, pay attention to your oral hygiene, and visit your dentist regularly. Dental checkups are complete within a half hour and are very inexpensive. You can even get your dental health insurance plan to cover a check-up or oral hygiene visit and really put a smile on your face.