The Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)) has welcomed the new sugar tax as a ‘game-changer’ for oral health, and says the latest data on childhood tooth extractions highlight its necessity.
The Faculty was among the organisations which campaigned for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, which came into force early April and taxes manufacturers 18 pence per litre for drinks with total sugar content above five grams per 100ml, and 24 pence per litre for those above eight grams per 100ml.
A quarter of five year olds have tooth decay, and the latest release of figures by Public Health England shows that tooth extraction remains the number one cause of hospitalisation among five to nine year olds, with over 35,000 children admitted each year for the procedure and 60,000 school days missed as a result.
A typical 330ml can of fizzy drink contains 35g (nine teaspoons) of sugar, well in excess of the recommended maximum total intakes of 19g a day for four to six year olds, 24g for seven to 10 year olds, and 30g for those aged 11 or over. However, reformulation since the new tax was announced is already estimated to have removed 45 million kilograms of sugar from the UK’s annual drinks consumption, and such has been the desire of firms to avoid it that the Treasury has had to revise down its forecast annual revenue by more than half.
However with tooth decay costing the NHS £3.4bn a year, FGDP(UK) says the £240m raised by the levy should be spent on oral health promotion. The Faculty has also called for the tax to be extended to milk-based drinks, and for further restrictions on the marketing and price promotion of high sugar food and drink.
Mick Horton, dean of FGDP(UK), said, “British adults consume three times as much sugar as we should be, and drinks remain our children’s biggest dietary source of sugar. While the latest official figures on hospital admissions of children for tooth extraction are cause enough for concern, they are only the tip of the iceberg, as tooth decay affects millions and the vast majority of treatment for this almost entirely preventable disease takes place in general dental practice.
“The Sugar Tax is a game-changer which will reinforce the message that diet is of critical importance to oral and wider health, and dentists will be delighted to finally see it in effect. Hitting the manufacturers where it hurts has already proved effective, and having to pay extra for the highest sugar drinks should also persuade more consumers to make healthier choices.”
As well as maintaining a healthy diet for yourselves and your children it is important to visit your Liverpool Dentist regularly. Regular visits can help catch problems early and can help teach your children how to take care of their oral health and not to have a fear of the Dentist.
Our NHS Dentist in Liverpool is currently registering new patients. You can download a registration form here and we can register you on the same day. If you have any queries, you can contact our NHS Dentist here and of our team members will be happy to chat you.
Article Compliments of The Dentist.