Every day, we all make numerous decisions about our food and beverage consumption—the kind, the amount, and the frequency. The British Dental Health Foundation, along with some 60 other organizations are proposing the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks to persuade consumers to make healthier beverage choices.

Various sodas of different colors demonstrating the British Dental Health Foundation believes soda is bad for your teeth and is calling for a soda tax

Why They Can Harm You

Energy drinks, carbonated sodas, and sports drinks are all the rage in our modern times, especially among the younger generation. Unfortunately, these drinks are often loaded in sugar, and are acidic in nature, both of which can harm your teeth.

Every time these drinks are consumed, your teeth are under attack as the acid temporarily softens the hard, protective coating on your teeth. Over time, these repeated battles can weaken the enamel until it’s no longer able to provide adequate protection. The result? A greater likelihood of developing cavities, along with tooth sensitivity and translucency. The sugar in these drinks allow bacteria in your mouth to thrive and form plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

The Sugary Drink Tax Proposal

The truth of the matter is that our food choices are affecting more than just our dental health, and the detrimental effects are felt among people of all ages groups. Reports show that alarmingly, 60 percent of adults in the UK are considered overweight and obese.

The Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE also commented that “three in every ten children starting school have tooth decay, and around one in three 12 year-olds have visible dental decay.”

He continued, “The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in children. By proposing the introduction of a duty on sugary drinks there will be an inevitable reduction in consumption and benefits for both general and dental health. Cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks is one of the Foundation’s key messages, and any measure which helps reduce how often our teeth are exposed to sugary foods and drinks is one the Foundation wholeheartedly welcomes.”

What You Can Do

For those who enjoy their sugary beverage too much to kick the habit, some simple yet important steps can be adopted to limit their effect.

  • Place limits on the amount you have on a daily basis.
  • Avoid swishing the drink in your mouth and use a straw to lessen the acidic exposure to your teeth.
  • Drink your sugary beverage at meal time to limit the number of times your teeth are exposed to sugar.
  • Drink water after to remove some of the acid and sugar from your teeth.

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Do you agree with the idea of imposing a tax on sugary drinks? Share your comments below.