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Oral health charity urges change in UK’s diet

The UK is constantly being warned about its poor diet, it seems. It can feel at times like everything has already been said on the subject, and the wealth of contradictory information on how to eat healthily can be very confusing. However, nearly everyone can agree that cutting down on sugar is a must.

Oral care charity the British Dental Health Foundation has highlighted this after a survey revealed that people don’t look at the effect their diet has on their oral health. Most people that are thinking of changing their diet will do so because of their weight, however their oral health should still definitely be a priority.

However, almost three-quarters of the UK (73 per cent) completely ignore the impact their diet could have on their oral health. This is more prevalent in men than women, and it is worrying to think that most people do not care about the effect their food can have on the health of their teeth.

Furthermore, some 32 per cent of the UK populace is unaware of the relationship between diet and oral health. These people do not know how harmful sugar can be to teeth, for example, making work a lot harder for dentists trying to keep the nation as healthy as possible.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, said: “Most of us know and understand how various foods and drinks affect our body and overall health but many remain unaware that diet also plays a vital role in oral health.

“If sweetened foods and drinks are constantly being eaten, the mouth is constantly under attack and does not get the chance to recover. That is why one of our key messages is to cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.”

The solution to this problem seems to be better education about the merits of a good diet. However, it is not entirely clear how best to implement this. Dentists should be aware that many of their patients may not know what to eat to keep their teeth healthy, and point them in the right dietary direction.

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