Princeview Dental, (www.PrinceviewDental.com), one of Etobicoke’s dental clinics, is weighing in on whether soft drinks should be targeted for causing tooth decay.
Liverpool health officials have started a public campaign against major brands of soft drinks, including Coca-Cola, Tropicana, and Capri-Sun in an attempt to warn the public about how much sugar is in each drink. The new campaign is in response to alarming increases in child tooth decay in the city. (Source: Campbell, D., “Liverpool in drive to name and shame fizzy drink brands,” The Guardian, May 7, 2016; http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/07/liverpool-fizzy-drink-brands-sugar-obesity.)
“Child tooth decay is increasing in many Western cities, including many throughout Canada,” says Dr. Janice Mummery, founder of Princeview Dental. “This is a big problem that can have a severe impact on the health of children. Governments should be taking steps to combat this.”
The new campaign will inform the public on the number of sugar cubes in different types of soft drinks. For instance, a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola would have 13.5 sugar cubes in it, which is well above the recommended daily maximum for children of five to seven cubes.
“The average diet is full of sugar, and sugar can cause tooth decay,” Dr. Mummery explains. “Foods and beverages like pop drinks, fruit juices, desserts, and packaged meals are often loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar. The bacteria in the mouth feeds off of sugar, so eating too much can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.”
Health officials behind the campaign believe that the public is not aware of just how much sugar is in some of their dietary choices. The campaign will involve advertisements in hospitals, child care centres, and other public areas where children and their parents may see them.
“While the intent behind this campaign is good, it likely will not be enough to make a difference,” Dr. Mummery notes. “Soft drinks are just one of many sugary foods that are causing these problems. Another issue is that many parents are not aware of how serious tooth decay and gum disease can be for their children.”
According to Public Health Liverpool, about 2,000 children under age five will have tooth extractions this year. One dentist even reported having to remove 15 adult teeth from a 14-year-old.
“Dental hygiene is an important part of a person's health,” Dr. Mummery concludes. “Poor dental care can cause loss of teeth, as well as lead to the development of gum disease, oral cancers, and bacterial infections. It’s really important for children to see a dentist once every six months to ensure that their teeth are in good condition.”
Princeview Dental provides services for patients who are suffering from dental emergencies in Toronto, as well as regular oral care.