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The definitive role of health warnings on product labels

Of the 2,028 adults who participated in the YouGov survey carried out on behalf of the British Dental Association (BDA), 62 percent were of the opinion that job applicants displaying noticeably decayed teeth, or who had teeth missing, were put at a disadvantage when it came to being hired. So too were candidates who had bad breath. Scientific research has consistently shown that poor oral health including dental decay and poor gum health can be laid at the door of a diet excessively high in sugar consumption. All authority bodies on dental health including the British Dental Association advise on curbing one’s sugar intake and to be more conscious of the hidden sugars contained in foods and drinks. Equally important to safeguarding oral health is to keep to scheduled appointments with a dentist Soho who will conduct thorough oral examinations to look out for symptoms that may potentially cause problems down the line.

The potential of front-of-pack warnings on product labels

Thus far imposing a tax on sugar has had a limited influence on reducing the consumer preference for sugar-laden drinks – one of the major sources of obesity and tooth decay. Could the answer lie in redesigning product labels to include potential risks to health similar to those found on tobacco products? Initial research seems to suggest so, with one study pointing to a drop in consumer inclination to purchase a sugary drink when presented with health risk warnings. These health warnings displayed on product labels ranged from plain text to health star ratings to graphic images of decayed teeth. All the health warnings produced the desired response – that of curbing the impulse to purchase the sugary drink, but one type – the graphic image of decayed teeth had the highest drop of 20 percent.

What does a tooth-friendly diet look like?

Dental practitioners urge adult patients and parents of young children to pay greater attention to what they eat and drink on a day-to-day basis. Next to lowering the amount of sugar consumed is to reduce the number of times and frequency one consumes sugar-laden foods and sugar-sweetened drinks.
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Here are a few guidelines on how to implement a tooth-friendly diet:

Reduce intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and replace them with healthier alternatives.

Avoid sugar-free fizzy drinks as these are highly acidic and can also put teeth and gum health at risk. Fruit juice may also contain high amounts of sugar so drink in moderation and make sure to consume it when eating food.

Learn how to identify hidden sugars on food labels and try to avoid consuming too much of those products that contain them. For children, parents and caregivers can indulge them with an occasional sweet treat that should be paired with a proper meal and not as a stand-alone snack.

All dental practitioners are of one mind – to ensure oral health, prevention is key. This means regular brushing and flossing along with professional clinic check-ups remain the most effective ways to secure long-term dental health.

Experienced dental practitioners are renowned for their compassionate approach to the dental care of their patients.

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