At Broad Street Dental surgery we have been introducing our local nurseries to the dental environment and also providing basic oral health education and advice. The dental nurses at the practice spent some time creating a very simple but effective display showing the amount of sugar in many of the most common drinks consumed by children and adults today.
The amount of sugar in each drink was weighed and displayed beneath each product and was displayed in the waiting room of our dental practice. Even though the quantity of sugar is labelled on each drink, the quantity of sugar still caused much debate and astonishment amongst our patients.
This simple display clearly demonstrates the continuing need to educate patients with regards to sugar and diet and a need for clear labelling. Making traffic light labelling compulsory on all packaging or showing sugar content in teaspoons on the front of packaging as described by Jamie Oliver in his “Sugar Rush” TV show would clearly be a vast improvement to the current labelling system allowing patients to make an informed decision on the products that they and their children consume.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, highlighted why the charity is adding their voice to the calls for change: “The effects that sugar consumption is having on children’s dental health cannot be understated. Shockingly, a recent study found half of eight year olds have visible signs of decay on their teeth and a third of children are starting school with visible signs of tooth decay.
“Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospitalisation in children and that 26,000 primary school aged children were admitted to hospital due to tooth decay last year, with children tooth extractions costing the NHS around £30 million per year, the key cause being tooth decay. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
Early tooth decay can have no obvious symptoms, but your dental team may be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when they examine your teeth. This is why you should visit your dental team regularly, as small cavities are much easier to treat than advanced decay.
If you are unsure if you or your child has the early signs of dental decay the please book an appointment at Broad Street Dental Surgery
Andrew Farr Dentist BDS MJDF