Published April 09, 2010
| NewsCorp Australian Papers
A study revealed that the longer teenagers spend glued to the screen, the greater the impact on their dental hygiene.
A propensity to wolf down sugary snacks and drinks while absorbed in the on-screen action meant gamers who spend long hours with a controller in their hands are twice as likely to develop tooth decay.
The University of Iowa study is the latest in a growing list of video game-related ills highlighted by academics, ranging from depression and obesity to violent behavior.
The research, which focused on adolescents between the ages of 12 to 16, also found that those who had parental rules regarding screen time and diet were less likely to eat or drink while watching TV and playing games than those who did not.
Sugary snacks combined with soft drinks have emerged as the main culprit in teenage tooth decay.
Researchers found as gamers blew things up on screen, their teeth came under relentless attack from sugar reacting with bacteria found in plaque, producing harmful acids. It is estimated that for every sugary treat, teeth come under acid attack for up to an hour.