Geneva, 19 January 2015 - As World Oral Health Day (WOHD) 2015 approaches, FDI World Dental Federation is advising people to consider the impact of frequent sugar consumption on their ‘Smile for Life’.
Dental caries is the most common non-communicable disease in the world. Research has demonstrated that sugars are the main cause of tooth decay (holes in your teeth).
When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in the plaque (the sticky film that keeps forming on your teeth) feeds on the sugar and releases acid that attacks teeth for about one hour. Frequent consumption of sugar allows prolonged acid ‘attacks’, weakening the protective outer layer of the teeth.
Speaking about this process, Dr Jaime Edelson, Chair of the FDI World Oral Health Day Task team, commented: ‘Sugar reacts with bacteria in the mouth, which together form an acid that damages the enamel. When this keeps happening, a hole is formed in the tooth, which then requires filling and may over time lead to an extraction. By paying close attention to how often we are consuming sugary foods and drinks, the number of acid attacks on our teeth can be reduced.’
WOHD is an opportunity for FDI to draw attention to proven oral care behaviours that people can adopt to protect their teeth –for life. These include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cutting down consumption of sugary foods and drinks between meals and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks when on-the-go and brushing is not feasible.
FDI President Dr Tin Chun Wong commented: ‘World Oral Health Day 2015, “Smile for life!” and has a double meaning - lifelong smile and celebrating life. Smiling implies self-confidence and having fun, as people only smile if they are happy and have a healthy life. Please take the time to consider your oral health and bring a smile to everyone around you.’
FDI supports the World Health Organization’s guidelines on reducing sugar consumption, based on evidence of its association with dental caries and obesity.