Dental Erosion Threat in the UK
According to the Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children (DNSIYC), two in every three (62 per cent) children aged 12-18 months had ‘sugar, preserves and confectionary’ foods.
When it comes to drinks, one in four (26 per cent) 12-18 month old infants enjoyed fruit juice and soft drinks.
When such sweet foods are consumed on a regular basis, tooth decay is often the result: in fact, in 2008 31% of five year olds in England had decay.
However, sugary treats, especially drinks, are often very acidic as well. This combination of sugar and acid is deadly for teeth: the resulting acidity in the mouth can contribute not just to decay, but also to acid erosion of tooth enamel. Once enamel has been decayed or eroded, it never grows back. Long term erosion can cause teeth to become very worn down or highly sensitive.
Parents in the UK are being encouraged to reduce the amount and frequency of sugary snacks and beverages. The Foundation recommends that children only drink water or milk in between meals, and to limit the number of snacks between meals.
No wonder the British Dental Health Foundation worries about a looming dental erosion explosion: