All News

We need to encourage children to ditch fizzy drinks

Illume is delighted that the message about sugar being bad for your teeth is certainly getting through to adults and many of them are already swapping fizzy drinks for water but we would like to encourage clients and the wider community to ensure children are doing so as well.

This follows a survey, commissioned by the Natural Hydration Council, which found that water only accounts for a quarter of liquids drunk by five to nine-year-olds while ‘diet' fizzy drinks make up 30 per cent of overall consumption.

Tim Rumney, clinical director at Illume, says: “These figures, which come shortly after a report by Public Health England showed tooth extractions among under-fives had increased 24 per cent in a decade, highlights the huge problems caused by sugary drinks.

“I would urge all parents and grandparents to help us tackle this by encouraging all children to swap sugary drinks for healthier alternatives such as water or milk.

“As well as keeping the body functioning well, water is naturally sugar-free and so is the best choice for our children’s teeth but milk is also a good choice as it helps to promote healthy bone development as well. 

“The fact that 30% of young children are drinking fizzy drinks is shocking because just one typical can contains about nine teaspoons of sugar – enough to take someone over their recommended daily intake in one hit.

“Sugar, as we have been telling clients for many years, is the main reason for tooth decay because plaque on your teeth feed on this and acids are produced which dissolve the enamel of the tooth to create cavities. These acids are produced very quickly and can begin to damage the tooth within minutes. 

“It takes 30 to 45 minutes for the mouth to return to normal so frequent consumption creates more acid attacks. The key message is therefore that reducing the frequency and amount of sugar will reduce decay

“Even ‘diet’ fizzy drinks can still be damaging to teeth as some of the ingredients they contain, such as phosphoric acid, citric acid and tartaric acid, can lead to dental erosion. 

“I would therefore advise people to instead drink either water or milk and make sure both are readily available for youngsters so we can make a difference to the next generation and ensure they have good oral health,” he added.

If you are concerned about your oral health then please make an appointment for a Healthy Mouth Review and Hygiene Support Visit where, among many other things, we will assess how effectively you clean your teeth and identify any changes you need to make to your home oral care.

Find out more here