Thursday, 28 February 2002 By max

FOR about a year, London orthodontist Dr Mark Lowey noticed something weird about his young patients. No, they did not have hair on the palms of their hands. They did not need deep-core tooth drilling and their gums were not gangrene. These were perfectly healthy kids who ate healthily and regularly brushed their choppers.

The problem was tooth enamel. With these kids the enamel - the first line of defence against rotten teeth - is fading.

Another patient, a boy of 13, has lost 2mm off his teeth. His teeth are actually SHRINKING!

The puzzle was solved when the good doctor realised that one patient ate yoghurt every lunchtime and again when he got home after school.

That’s right: too much bloody flavoured yogurt!

There is no disputing that yoghurt and similar products are generally healthy and beneficial. The only problem is they can destroy your teeth!

It works like this: bacteria in the milk reacts with the sugars, and a by-product of this is acid. That's what erodes the enamel.

Where traditional lollies can cause decay, yogurt is acidic and can corrode the surface, and once the enamel has gone it’s just a matter of time before you reach gum-city, kids!

The phenomenon is directly linked to a boom in sales aimed at kids where entire supermarket aisles are stuffed with these brightly packaged dairy products.

There was a time when kids might have eaten chocolate or lollies after meals. Now, they get yoghurts and frozen dairy food in the belief that they are healthier options.

Ok, it's safe to reach for thoseTim Tams now!

This is Max Gross, on-line for Xenox News, and I say an after-dinner belt of Wild Turkey beats all. Cheers!

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