This shouldn’t be news, but a study from the University of Adelaide in Australia confirms the obvious: ¬†tooth decay in children is directly proportional to the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed.

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.


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