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07 / 02 / 2019

Fizz Free February: Are You Joining In?

Our Ipswich Dentists Look At How Patients Might Benefit From Taking Part

There seems to be a trend in allocating specific months to certain health campaigns, usually when the name ties in, e.g. Veganuary. Whether you went vegan for that month or not though, there is still an opportunity to do something for your health this month too.

A new campaign, named ‘Fizz Free February’ has been started with the aim of encouraging people to cut down on the amount of sugary drinks that they consume. This is especially important for those who drink these regularly, but all of us could benefit from cutting them out, or at least reducing them.

Adding Up The Pounds

Before you are tempted to dismiss this as ‘just another health campaign’ and move on, it is worth looking at the cost of these drinks, ignoring for now, the cost of any additional dental treatments you may well need because of them. Drinking just one fizzy drink a day will cost you around £500 each year, and obviously more if you are a more regular drinker. As the bulk of these drinks consist of water and sugar, that is a pretty large amount.

A more important factor in this campaign though, is the health aspect of it, both general and from an oral health perspective.

Your Future Health

Although the campaign applies to everyone, it is especially targeted at younger people, for whom a change in diet could have long-term benefits for their health. Anyone who has suffered from the negative health aspects of excess sugar consumption, such as obesity, diabetes and tooth decay would probably agree with the Lighthouse Dental Practice, that being able to prevent these problems is certainly a good thing.

The idea is not to necessarily cut out fizzy drinks for life altogether but to discover new alternatives that can be incorporated into daily life. Supported by the British Dental Association, it is hoped that younger people especially, will have a healthier life ahead of them.

The Sugar Industry

It is worth mentioning that those with an interest in these businesses will certainly fight back against these types of campaigns, probably through advertising. When you consider that just one of the larger companies that produce these drinks spends around £4bn annually, it isn’t hard to see why overconsumption of sugar is such a big issue.

Your Oral Health And Sugar

Although reducing the incidence of diabetes and obesity is extremely important, it is the oral health aspect of this campaign that is of particular importance to our Ipswich dental team. Sugar is a well-known precursor to a number of oral health issues. These include the following:

Tooth Decay

The fact that eating too much sugar is likely to cause cavities in your teeth has been well-known for a long time. In the past, there perhaps wasn’t such a widespread use of sugar, and although cavities were not uncommon, they were not such an epidemic, especially amongst younger children, as they are today. In fact, over 40,000 children had to have their teeth extracted in hospital in 2016-2017 (a figure that has probably increased since) (reference). No parent wants to put their child through that unless absolutely essential, and encouraging your children to seek alternatives to fizzy drinks is a great place to start.

Enamel Erosion

Sugar is a key factor in the erosion of enamel from our teeth. It is this that causes the dentin layer below it to become more vulnerable to decay and root canal infections. Reducing, or cutting out fizzy drinks from our diet altogether, is a great way to help prevent this problem. Whilst all sugar is potentially harmful to enamel, many of these soft drinks also have added citric acids which increase the likelihood of this problem.

Gum Disease

Although other factors, such as poor dental care and smoking tobacco products are the main causes of gum disease, sugar can play a part too. By coating our teeth and gums with sugary products, including fizzy drinks, we are providing a food source for the bacteria that can be harmful to our teeth and gums. Although good home cleaning, combined with a regular scale and polish at our Ipswich practice will go a long way in its prevention, gum disease should not be taken lightly and can even lead to tooth loss, should periodontitis take hold. Anything that we can do to keep our gums in good health is to be welcomed, including this campaign.

Even if you take part in Fizz Free February and continue to do so, you still need to ensure that your oral health is monitored on a regular basis. If you live in the Ipswich area and would like to register with a dentist or wish to change from your current practice, you can arrange an appointment by calling the Lighthouse Dental Practice on 01473 257379.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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