Dentists Take on the Soda IndustryDecember 9, 2016 | Category Recare, Total Health
While the dental community has long understood the impact sugar plays in the development of tooth decay, we have only recently begun to recognize the pervasiveness of sugar in our food supply. Added sugar is present in virtually all processed foods and drinks, to the detriment of our oral health and our overall health. We must examine what role the dental profession should play in the war on sugar.
The New Zealand Dental Association has decided to start with one of the most damaging combinations of sugar and acidity – soda. This group is demanding labeling changes that will help consumers more easily understand the amount of sugar they are consuming in these sweetened drinks. By visually illustrating the amount of sugar in teaspoons instead of simply listing the milliliters per serving, consumers would be able to make more educated beverage decisions.
While improved labeling is important for consumer education, we must also motivate patients to want to reduce their sugar intake. Do your patients understand the connection between sugar intake and obesity, diabetes, and other systemic diseases? Dental teams are the educational resource most patients rely on for oral health information. Make sugar and nutrition a part of your conversations with patients. Use educational tools, like the improved sugar labeling, that patients can understand and relate to. Educated patients will make educated choices.
For help talking to patients about nutrition and their health, request a complimentary Total Health workshop for your dental team.