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19 April 2018

With the new sugar tax, can we expect to see a fall in numbers of patients with tooth decay?

The sugar tax has been in the news recently, with a significant price rise for products containing higher amounts of sugar. Amongst those hit will be most types of fizzy sugary drinks which are particularly popular with young children.

Only time will tell if this new tax means that people buy less of these products or simply continue to buy them, but at greater expense. The taste for sugar is now probably well established in our taste buds, but we can always hope.

Reducing sugar

Whether we cut down on sugar because of the tax or simply because we want to live a healthier lifestyle, any reduction in consumption has to be a good thing. Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in young children. If we can change the way that they see food while they are young, there is a greater chance of them growing up with less cavities and better general health.

Reducing, or cutting out, sugar in obviously sugary products though, is not a panacea for all ills. Sugar is present in many foods, including some we may not expect. A small can of baked beans for example includes around 10% of its contents as sugar. It can even be found in many savoury dishes as well as daily staples such as bread.

Because of this, we should always make sure to keep our teeth and gums really clean, both by diligent brushing and flossing at home, as well as having our teeth professionally cleaned at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.

Staying hydrated

Fizzy sugary drinks are very popular, with adults as well as children. On a hot day a cold can out of a fridge can be obviously appealing. If we cut these down though, it is still important to stay well hydrated, especially on a hot day. Becoming dehydrated often leads to a very dry mouth and this is exactly the type of environment that gum harming bacteria thrive in. Drinking fresh water is a great way to counteract this and to stay well hydrated.

Even cold alcoholic drinks will cause you to become hydrated. They also usually contain quite a lot of sugar too; a ‘double whammy’ for those hoping to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. So please try to moderate.

Professional dental help

At the Confidental Clinic Surbiton, we believe that cutting down on sugar consumption is good news all round and it should certainly mean less cavities for our patients. These will still occur though if you do not take good care of your teeth and gums; in conjunction with an appropriate diet. We recommend that anyone who does not already do so, sees our Surbiton hygienist for a professional clean every six months or so and also to benefit from ongoing dental health education which will also be offered. Please make your appointment by calling us on 020 8399 1291.

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