A study published today in the BMC Public Health journal has demonstrated the direct link between sugar consumption and tooth decay. As dentists, this is of no surprise to us, as we all too often witness problems in adults and children that stem from over-consumption of sugary drinks and foods. The research is fascinating as it is a global study and shows how lack of access to sugar in 1940s Japan hugely reduced tooth decay and how, on the other hand, 92% of Americans have had some tooth decay as a result of their sugar-heavy diet.

Sugar is also linked to obesity, diabetes and heart problems, so cutting down on daily consumption is important for your overall health as well as to protect your teeth. We applaud lobby groups such as ‘Action on Sugar’ for highlighting this issue – their figures show that an average UK teenager consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar each day – 5 times the recommended amount!

Good tooth brushing and flossing habits and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist are a vital part of good dental health, but please watch the amount of sugar in yours and your child’s diet!