8 Mar 2014

Ireland - 3 in 4 Irish teens have tooth decay

3 in 4 Irish teens have tooth decay
[Posted: Fri 07/03/2014 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]

Half of all 12-year-olds and three in four 15-year-olds in Ireland have some decay in their permanent teeth, the Irish Dental Association (IDA) has said.
The association was responding to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) call for people to reduce their consumption of sugar. Earlier this week, the WHO said that the daily allowance for sugar intake per person should be halved to six teaspoons per day.
This, it insisted, could help reduce health problems such as tooth decay and obesity.
According to IDA president, Dr Sean Malone, this call should act as a wake-up call to young people and their parents.
"According to figures from the Department of Health, 37% of Irish children consume sweets once a day or more while 21% report drinking soft drinks daily or more. There is overwhelming evidence that sugars in food and beverages are the main dietary cause of tooth decay and erosion in children and adults.
"In addition to dental decay, people who consume excess sugar suffer higher rates of heart disease and diabetes," Dr Malone pointed out.
The IDA thinks that all carbonated soft drinks should carry public health warnings. It also wants to see the introduction of legislation that would ensure that the sugar content of all foods and drinks is highlighted.
"Irish children are among the highest per capita consumers of soft drinks in the Western world so this issue needs to be addressed urgently. The health warning system has really worked well for tobacco and alcohol products and it is time for similar warnings to be placed on food and drink products so that consumers can make a fully informed choice," Dr Malone added.

Fluoridated Ireland.

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