We all know that fizzy drinks can be bad for our teeth if they contain too much sugar, but did you realise quite how much of the sweet stuff is in many popular brands available today?
A recent survey, reported by the Guardian, showed that 55% of all carbonated drinks on sale in the UK contain over 7 teaspoons of sugar. To put it in context that’s daily limit for anyone over the age of 11 and much more than anyone younger should be consuming. The worst offender in the survey was ginger beer with nearly 10 spoonfuls in every can.
Tooth decay and other symptoms of excess sugar intake
Too much sugar can lead to cavities and extractions and the effects can extend beyond oral health too. As Sarah Toule, head of health information at World Cancer Research Fund, said, “Over-consuming these high-calorie soft drinks with little nutritional value can lead to being overweight and obese, which can increase the risk of developing 11 common cancers in later life, including breast and prostate cancer.”.
Details of the new sugar tax, due to come into force next year have just been published and although there are still some gaps to fill in experts are predicting that the cost of a can could rise by about 8p, with a two litre bottle increasing by as much as 48p. Opinion seems to be divided on whether the tax is high enough to actually deter people from buying high sugar content drinks.
There is still resistance from many manufacturers and Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “There is no evidence worldwide that taxes of this sort reduce obesity, and it is ironic that soft drinks are being singled out for tax when we’ve led the way in reducing sugar intake, down over 17% since 2012. We’re also the only category to have set a 20% calorie reduction target for 2020.”
There are some encouraging signs though that the tax might encourage some manufacturers to reduce sugar by reformulating their drinks. Tesco is one notable example, reducing all its own-brand soft drinks to below 5% to escape the levy. Hopefully this will become the norm and we’ll see a steady reduction in tooth decay.
Make an appointment with one of our dental experts here at 76 Harley Street today to see how your teeth are bearing up.