WILL A ‘SUGAR TAX’ PROTECT OUR DENTAL HEALTH?

In an attempt to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, the Department of Health has been promising to announce plans to introduce a ‘sugar tax’ for the last few months. Originally supposed to be announced in November last year, and then delayed to December, January and subsequently February, last month saw yet another set-back in the much anticipated announcement.

Now put back to the summer, many are left wondering exactly when this strategy to tackle the nearly 20% obesity rate in pre-teens will ever be announced. The proposed 20% tax on sugar laden junk food and fizzy drinks has been lauded by many, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, as the answer to the growing problem of childhood, and adult, obesity.

But will an impending sugar tax actually protect our dental health too?

The problem with sugar

It’s no secret to most of us that sugar is one of the leading causes of cavities and tooth decay. But how exactly does that happen?

Well, when you eat (or drink) sugar a few things happen. Firstly, there are millions of tiny, natural bacteria living in our mouths at all times. These little guys love sugar and feed on it. However, after they’ve fed on the sugar it turns into a pretty powerful acid which will wear away at the protective enamel on the teeth. That’s the beginning of cavities and that’s exactly what you need to avoid!

How could a sugar tax help?

There are plenty of sugary snacks and drinks available on the market and we’ve all been subject to their temptation from time to time. However, with children’s teeth extractions on the rise and the constant threat of tooth decay for anyone, then surely making these sugary treats more expensive will encourage fewer people to buy them.

However, here at Ollie & Darsh we believe that it goes much further than simply making these products pricier to purchase.  People need to be better informed, by their dental teams and the media, about the harmful effects of sugar on the teeth. Many adults could have avoided treatments like fillings or even extractions if we knew just how powerful the negative results of overconsuming sugar actually are on our dental health.

The future?

While we wait to see whether or not the Government and the Department of Health actually bring in the much publicised tax, there is plenty you can do to take care of your teeth. From regular brushing to chewing sugar free gum between meals, you can still protect your smile from the onslaught of both obvious and hidden sugars in our food.

If you want to discuss your dental health, ways to reduce sugar consumption or if you’re considering changing your dental practice then make sure you book your free consultation at Ollie & Darsh today. You’ll have the chance to meet the team, sit down in a relaxed environment and discuss what you want to achieve with your dental healthcare over a cup of coffee in our Liverpool HQ. We can’t wait to meet you.