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Study Links Sweetened Drinks and Tooth Decay in Children

Posted:February 28, 2013

Categories:Family, Featured

A new study reveals the link between soft drink consumption in children and dental caries.

Researchers looked at assessments made by dental staff for more than 16, 800 Australian children between 2002 to 2005. Parents completed a questionnaire about their child's water and soft-drink consumption, as well as their toothbrushing frequency and socioeconomic status.

Here are some of the study's findings:

56% of Australian children ages 5 to 16 years consumed at least one sugared drink per day.
13% of children consumed three or more sugared drinks on average per day.
Boys consume more sweet drinks than girls.
Children from the lowest income families consumed almost 60% more sugared drinks.
The number of decayed, missing, and filled deciduous (or baby) teeth was 46% higher among children who consumed three or more sweet drinks per day, compared with children who did not consume sweet drinks.
"Consistent evidence has shown that the high acidity of many sweetened drinks, particularly soft drinks and sports drinks, can be a factor in dental erosion, as well as the sugar itself contributing to tooth decay," Armfield said.

The study also showed that greater exposure to fluoridated water significantly reduces the association between children's sweet drink consumption and tooth decay, which reconfirms the benefits of community water fluoridation for oral health, he added.

For more information read the article "Aussie study highlights link between soft drinks, caries"