The recent introduction of the sugar tax in England is a welcome and has to be said long overdue measure in the fight against tooth decay,particularly in children.The main reason for children under 12 undergoing a general anaesthetic in hospital is to have multiple extractions of rotten teeth.
This is a most unpleasant experience for the child and the parents,involving time off school and work and is also a huge cost to the NHS.
Some soft drinks contain a mind boggling 8 spoonfuls of sugar in one can!I see Scotland’s other national drink has recently reduced the recipe to ONLY contain around 4-which is still appalling from a dental health perspective . The sugar tax should at least reduce the consumption of sugar and encourage the use of alternatives such as water or diet juices.Other measures that would be helpful is the removal of confectionery at supermarket checkouts and vending machines with sugary snacks and drinks from schools and hospitals.Although it has to be said that things have certainly improved from the bad old days when about 40% of adults in the West of Scotland had no teeth at all!
Education in diet ,oral health and the improvement in fluoride toothpastes have all played their part in reducing decay but decay is a preventable disease and we want children to grow up without suffering from dental caries.
So steps in the right direction but still much more to be done.