Fighting the war on sugar as healthy diet messages are failing to sink in
Almost two thirds of dental professionals (DPs) find themselves repeating the same dietary and oral health advice for caries prevention in children during their appointment most or all of the time.
Making matters worse, DPs believe that only 1% of parents always follow the advice given to them about their child’s diet.
The survey, commissioned by Colgate as part of the launch for the new Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser toothpaste, gathered insights into the diet and oral health practices of DPs in relation to their own families, and the advice that they give to parents on caries prevention for their children.
The results reveal that a staggering 97% of DPs see at least one child every day in their practice who is suffering from caries due to a high-sugar diet, with more than a quarter (26%) saying that they see at least five children.
In England, 27.9% of five-year-olds (www.nwph.net, 2013) and 33.4% of 12-year olds (www.nwph.net, 2010) have experience of dental decay, and worldwide up to 90% of school children have dental caries3.
Expert dietician, Nigel Denby, who consulted on the research, commented: ‘As a dietician, I’m an advocate for healthy foods like dried fruit and yoghurt, which are necessary for a healthy balanced diet.
‘As well as important vitamins and minerals, these types of foods also contain “hidden” sugars that can contribute to caries.
‘Families shouldn’t try to avoid all sugar in their diet though; it’s not practical and would mean they’d be missing out on naturally healthy foods.’
The Colgate study results show that DPs buy a wide range of healthy foods that contain ‘hidden’ processed or free sugars including bread, yoghurt, breakfast cereal and baked beans.
Nigel continues: ‘To get the sugar balance right in children’s diets, it’s essential that parents are provided with advice about both “bad, added sugar”, like you can find in sugary drinks and confectionary, and hidden sugars.
‘This advice should be given as part of appropriate caries prevention strategies – including avoiding sugary snacks between meals – in order to achieve the highest chance of healthy teeth.’
Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser uses the first and only Sugar Acid Neutraliser technology to directly target acids produced from free sugar in plaque.
Supported by eight years of clinical research involving 14,000 subjects, Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection toothpaste plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser technology has been clinically proven to provide greater cavity protection versus regular everyday toothpaste with the same level of fluoride.
The unique mode of action of Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutraliser is the result of Colgate continuing to innovate to take a ground breaking step in the fight against caries, setting a new standard of care in everyday protection for young families and children.
www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/reports/Report_NHS_DEP_for_England_OH_Survey_12yr_2008-09.pdf (2010) retrieved 13/10/14
www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/Oral%20Health%205yr%20old%20children%202012%20final%20report%20gateway%20approved.pdf (2013) retrieved 13/10/14
www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs318/en/ (2012) retrieved 07/14