UK Reduced Sugar Consumption in Soft Drinks by 34 Percent

A study published on January 13 offers insights into how the UK reduced sugar consumption in soft drinks by 34 percent since 2018. Their success is attributed to three factors:

1.      Public information dissemination about the harm to oral and general health from excessive sugar consumption.

2.      An effort by manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar in their soft drinks.

3.      Imposition of a three-tiered tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

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Between 2015 and 2018 the volume of sugars in soft drinks was reduced by more than 4.5 grams per person per day. This reduction in sugars was due to reformulations by soft drink manufacturers and the introduction of lower-sugar drinks. Some of this may have been done in anticipation of the tiered tax implemented in 2018.

To reduce sugar consumption, the UK introduced a tiered tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks. The tax is calculated in this way:

1.      Tax of 24 pence (34 cents U.S.) per liter on high-sugar drinks. These are defined as beverages containing more than 8 grams of sugar per 100 mL.

2.      Tax of 18 pence (23 cents U.S.) per liter on medium-sugar drinks. These are defined as beverages containing between 5 and 8 grams of sugar per 100mL.

3.      No tax on unsweetened drinks and low-sugar drinks. These are defined as beverages with less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 mL.

The study was not intended to evaluate the effects of the soft drink tax. Yet the study discovered “a striking reduction in the sugar content of soft drinks in the U.K.” These researchers estimated the amount of sugar in the food supply before and after the tax was implemented. Hi- and-Medium-sugar drink sales fell from 31 percent of all beverage sales in 2015 to merely 15 percent of sales in 2018. After adjusted for sales, the mean sugar content of all soft drinks decreased by 34%. The volume of sales has increased while the sugar content has declined.

An achievement of this kind will have far-reaching beneficial effects throughout the population of the UK. Would this approach have the same outcome in other places?

Please tell us what you think:

Could this be accomplished in the USA?

Is it an approach that you would support?

Do you think the same results could be achieved here?

Why Children Get Cavities Despite Regular Brushing

One parental frustration that we hear about often is why your child has #cavities despite regular #brushing.

Oral hygiene is critical for children, not only at the present moment but throughout their lives. The habits people establish in their early years have lasting and guiding effects on the child's oral and general #health.

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The most common reason children get cavities despite regular brushing is that the child is not brushing correctly. Often, children miss the back of teeth and do not brush back teeth adequately. Your supervision of their oral hygiene may be necessary for several years.

A second reason for cavities developing despite brushing is that many children do not #floss or do not floss properly. It may be helpful to try several flossing devices -- string floss, floss in a plastic frame, or interdental brushes -- until you find the best way for your child to floss effectively.

If oral hygiene is a problem, talk to your #dentist. Any dentist will be happy to show you and your child how to brush and floss to prevent cavities.

A third reason for cavities developing may be in your child's #diet. There are a number of foods and beverages that children should not eat if they have oral hygiene challenges. These are food and drinks that are high in #sugar or in harmful #acids. Limiting these sources of #decay and having your child brush at the right time after eating can make a big difference quickly.

Finally, remember that your dentist is your partner and your child's partner in practicing good #oralhygiene and good #oralhealth. Call us if we can help.

Fillings: The Basics


No one goes to the dentist in the hope of needing a filling. Yet needing a filling is one of the two possible outcomes of a dental exam. The other is hearing that you are all good (although you should floss more) and they will see you in 6 months.   fillings - paid - shutterstock 50804752

Getting a filling for a cavity puts you among the majority of people in the world today. More than 90 percent of all people have had a cavity in their lifetime. Your dentist can deal with the cavity fairly quickly and easily by putting in a filling.

These are the basic facts you should know about fillings.

What is a Filling?

A filling is one of several materials used to fill a hole (cavity) in your tooth. Cavities can be caused by tooth decay, cracking caused by grinding your teeth, or some other trauma like chewing ice or hard candy, chewing on some object, or damage to a tooth in an injury or accident.

Filling the hole stops or slows the growth of the cavity so that the tooth can perform its function again. Left untreated, the bacteria in a cavity or in your mouth can grow and endanger the rest of the tooth. Once that bacteria reaches the inside (root) of the tooth, restoring the tooth will require a more involved dental procedure called a root canal.

What Materials are Used in Fillings?

Today, dentists use one of five materials to fill teeth. Each of the materials has plusses and minuses. Your dentist will typically recommend one or two options based on a number of factors. The five materials are:

  1. Cast Gold – These fillings are very strong and durable (ideal for molars). Filling a tooth with gold is a little more complicated than some of the other materials. Gold fillings are also more expensive than some other options.
  2. Silver (also called Amalgam) – These fillings are strong and durable. They are less expensive than gold but are visible in your mouth. Silver fillings can also contribute to cracks and fractures in the tooth in the future.
  3. Tooth-colored composites – These fillings can be almost invisible in your mouth. They bond to your tooth for extra stability. They are more expensive than amalgam but less than gold. They tend to last one-third to one-half the time of gold or silver fillings.
  4. Ceramic – These fillings are very strong and durable. They are resistant to staining. The cost of ceramic fillings is almost as high as gold.
  5. Glass ionomer – This is the preferred filling material for young children and fillings below the gum line. The material releases fluoride to prevent further tooth decay. However, it is a weaker material than some of the others, making it prone to wear and damage.

What Happens when you get a Filling?

Sometimes the first step in filling a tooth is when your dentist gives you a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. Next, the dentist will use a drill or laser to remove the decayed part of the tooth. Then, once the decay is removed, the dentist will clean the area around the cavity and prepare it for the filling.

When the area is prepared, the dentist will put in the filling. Then she will finish and polish the tooth. The goal is to make the surface of the tooth smooth, to ensure that the filling sits properly in the tooth (and does not interfere with chewing and biting). If the filling affects your bite or chewing ability, it can cause discomfort, pain, and a headache.


We all hope that our dental exam will end with the dentist telling us that all is well. Sometimes the dentist will find decay and tell us we have a cavity. Having the cavity cleaned and filled will put you back on the road to good oral health. Having a tooth filled is not painful or frightening. With your knowledge of what to expect, you can relax and let your dentist fix your tooth and prevent future decay.

When to Start Flossing Your Child's Teeth?


As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, but you don’t always know your way around every aspect of the task of raising children. When it comes to establishing lifelong habits that affect their health, you want to get it right. After all, you want them to learn healthy habits young and you want them to maintain those good habits throughout their life.

But when is the right time to teach your child life skills like oral hygiene? Is there a set age or is it different for every child? How should you introduce brushing and flossing totheirour child?

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Here are five tips on how and when to teach your child to brush and floss their teeth.


1.Start Early

When it comes to teaching your child how to brush and floss their teeth, the earlier the better. You’ll want to explain the importance of caring for teeth and gums and the reasons for brushing and flossing, as well as why we do it every day, multiple times a day. If you think your child is capable of understanding this then it is time to help them learn how to brush their teeth and floss.


2.Use Flossers

Probably the easiest way to introduce your child to flossing is to use those flossers that are found in nearly every store that sells dental supplies. The concept is easy to grasp and they are intuitive to use. They are inexpensive and accessible. Traditional floss is our first thought, but is much harder to use - even for adults. That’s why we recommend using flossers to teach your children.


3.Help Them

When your child is first starting to brush and floss their teeth, you’ll want to help with flossing technique by giving them advice on what they are doing. You might want to create a system of rewards to keep them on track. This makes it easy to teach them about morning and night brushing, as well as making sure they brush and floss during the day after meals if possible.


4.Keep Supplies on Hand

If you are going to instill good habits in your child, like flossing their teeth, then you need to make sure that you have the appropriate supplies on hand at all times. It is important to maintain the momentum of making flossing a habit. Sometimes parents are surprised how much floss a child can go through even with the most conservative of estimates. You show them that their dental health matters by making sure that they are provided with all they need to maintain excellent oral hygiene practices.



5.Show and Tell

One of the most effective ways to teach your child that oral hygiene is important is to demonstrate to them that you, too, take it seriously by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily. You’ll set a good example by practicing what you preach. Brushing together can be fun.


Feel free to embellish these tips to make them most effective with your children. Happy flossing!

How to Finally Conquer Bad Breath


It is an embarrassing but common problem. Luckily for you, if you suffer from halitosis or bad breath, there are things you can do to make the situation better.

We offer 9 tips backed by science that should help you get your bad breath under control.

9. Good Oral Hygieneconquer bad breath - sugar free gum

The first step in combating bad breath is to make sure you brush your teeth and floss regularly. This limits bad breath and stops the problem at its root for the most part. Poor oral hygiene definitely contributes to bad breath. If you brush, floss and see your dentist regularly you are taking the first step to end your bad breath problem.

8. Stay Hydrated

A dry mouth often contributes to bacterial growth, tooth decay, and bad breath. Staying hydrated is important to beating bad breath. The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure you drink plenty of water at all times.

7. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum can help you conquer this problem temporarily. Combined with other tips we offer here it can keep your breath smelling clean.

6. Cut Out Dietary Culprits

Many foods and seasonings are known for their odor. This odor may affect your breath. The odor of garlic or onions will be on your breath. But there are other culprits as well. For example, milk and some dairy products not rinsed from your mouth effectively can give it a sour smell. If you know that certain foods or beverages cause you bad breath, then you need to avoid them.

5. Eat Zinc Rich Foods

Eating foods rich in zinc can help you prevent bad breath because zinc is a natural antimicrobial that prevents the bacteria which cause bad breath from propagating.

4. Chew Parsley

Chewing parsley after a meal has been shown to have beneficial effects for your breath in keeping it fresh and clean.

3. Use Natural Oils

One solution that many people like in this area is lemon tree oil which is a natural astringent that helps keep your mouth clean and eliminates odor-causing bacteria. The best part about this solution is that there are many ways to incorporate oils into your oral care regimen and diet.

2. Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker or vaper, a critical step in your fight against bad breath is to quit smoking. Not only does smoke leave a distinctly unpleasant odor of its own but also it contributes to dehydrating and the drying of your mouth that causes bacteria to grow.

1. Go to Your Dentist Regularly

Another important component of your battle against bad breath is to make sure you see your dentist for regularly scheduled checkups. Decaying teeth and gum disease also cause bad breath. Your dentist is your biggest ally in this fight and can provide real insights into how to combat bad breath.

There are some medical conditions that affect the odor of your breath. Some medications also cause bad breath. After discussing your problem and eliminating many things that cause bad breath, your dentist may suggest that you see your family doctor to diagnose a possible cause.


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