Dentists turn to the last straw in battle with fizz

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Fizzy drinks should be drunk only through a straw and then followed by a chunk of hard cheese to reduce tooth decay, according to the latest dental advice.

Fizzy drinks should be drunk only through a straw and then followed by a chunk of hard cheese to reduce tooth decay, according to the latest dental advice.

In a move which will vastly improve the fortunes of straw and cheese manufacturers nationwide, dentists are urging patients to adopt these new "lifestyle" guidelines following the publication of a new study in the British Dental Journal (BDJ).

Experts at Manchester University and the University of Iceland in Rekjavik have found that using a straw prevents the damaging "swishing" of carbonated drinks around the mouth.

They have also discovered that eating a piece of hard cheese after drinking cola and other fizzy drinks reduces decay by hardening up tooth enamel.

Nearly two-thirds of children in some parts of the UK have at least one rotten tooth by the time they are five. A rise in tooth decay has been largely linked to the high consumption of soft drinks, including fruit juice and carbonated drinks, by children, teenagers and young adults.

Consumption of soft drinks has increased 34-fold in the past 50 years with the average Briton drinking the equivalent of 600 cans of soft drinks a year.

Soft drink manufacturers are also being urged to change the recipes of their products. The BDJ's research reveals that supplements such as calcium lactate can help neutralise the acid in fizzy drinks. This practice has already been adopted by GlaxoSmithKline, which adds calcium to one of its Ribena varieties, Ribena ToothKind.

The British Dental Association said that caries was becoming a real problem for both adults and children, and one of the biggest culprits was fizzy drinks.

"By limiting your consumption of fizzy drinks, or even by drinking them through a straw, you can help to minimise the erosive effects," said a spokeswoman.

Comments