A leading dental health charity says the government’s rejection of calls for a ‘sugar tax’ is an opportunity lost in the urgent need to address the UK’s deteriorating dental health.
The British Dental Health Foundation, which had given its support to proposals for a sugar tax made by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, says the impact will be felt particularly among children where sugar-related tooth decay remains their number one reason for hospitalisation in the UK.
Some 26,000 primary school children were admitted to hospital due to tooth decay last year, and child tooth extractions are costing the NHS around £30 million per year, the key cause being tooth decay.
Tooth decay happens when sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. This forms the acids that attack the teeth and destroy the enamel. After this happens many times, the tooth enamel may break down, forming a hole or ‘cavity’. Tooth decay almost always leads to fillings and often leads to teeth having to be extracted.
Fizzy drinks are a major culprit, so if you value your kid’s teeth leave them on the supermarket shelf.