Geneva, 19 January 2015 – As World Oral Health Day (WOHD) 2015 approaches, FDI World Dental Federation is advising people to consider the impact of frequent sugar consumption on their ‘Smile for Life’.
Dental caries is the most common non-communicable disease in the world. Research has demonstrated that sugars are the main cause of tooth decay (holes in your teeth).
When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in the plaque (the sticky film that keeps forming on your teeth) feeds on the sugar and releases acid that attacks teeth for about one hour. Frequent consumption of sugar allows prolonged acid ‘attacks’, weakening the protective outer layer of the teeth.
Speaking about this process, Dr Jaime Edelson, Chair of the FDI World Oral Health Day Task team, commented: ‘Sugar reacts with bacteria in the mouth, which together form an acid that damages the enamel. When this keeps happening, a hole is formed in the tooth, which then requires filling and may over time lead to an extraction. By paying close attention to how often we are consuming sugary foods and drinks, the number of acid attacks on our teeth can be reduced.’
WOHD is an opportunity for FDI to draw attention to proven oral care behaviours that people can adopt to protect their teeth –for life. These include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cutting down consumption of sugary1 foods and drinks between meals and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks when on-the-go and brushing is not feasible.
FDI President Dr Tin Chun Wong commented: ‘World Oral Health Day 2015, “Smile for life!” and has a double meaning - lifelong smile and celebrating life. Smiling implies self-confidence and having fun, as people only smile if they are happy and have a healthy life. Please take the time to consider your oral health and bring a smile to everyone around you.’
FDI supports the World Health Organization’s guidelines on reducing sugar consumption, based on evidence of its association with dental caries and obesity.
WOHD is celebrated throughout the world on 20 March each year with a wide range of awareness-raising activities organized by dentists, dental students and National Dental Associations (NDAs).
FDI World Dental Federation serves as the principal representative body for more than 1 million dentists worldwide, developing health policy and continuing education programmes, speaking as a unified voice for dentistry in international advocacy, and supporting member associations in global oral health promotion activities. FDI is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and is a member of the World Health Professionals Alliance (WHPA).
For more information, visit: www.fdiworldental.org
About World Oral Health Day
World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on 20th March. The theme of World Oral Health Day 2015 is ‘Smile for life’. It reflects the major contribution oral health makes to our lives. Around the world, FDI member dental associations, schools, companies and other groups will celebrate the day with events organized under this single, unifying and simple message.
For more information, visit: www.worldoralhealthday.org