In order to tackle the growing epidemic of poor oral health among children in the UK, we need collaboration and dedication between healthcare associations,
dental and medical societies, and government bodies. We need to work together if we are to raise awareness of the dangers of sugar among the general
population and encourage children, their parents / guardians and those who care for them to put their health first.
The sugar tax is a welcome first-step in this fight, helping to highlight some of the products with the highest sugar content while also motivating some of the manufacturing companies to find lower-sugar alternatives. There is also hope that the price rise will provide something of a financial deterrent for children looking for a cold drink or snack.
However, much more needs to be done if we are to turn the currently appalling figures around. The tax only covers certain child-friendly food and drink, with many others slipping through the net. Education is key if we are to help more children avoid excessive decay in the future – they and their carers need to be aware of all hidden sugars.
The BSDHT remains one of many organisations committed to making a difference to the health of our young generation. It’s First Smiles campaign is designed specifically to encourage professionals to build relationships with their local schools and nurseries so that they may provide the information, advice and tools that children need to instil good habits from an early age. Many participants are using this opportunity to teach children about the effects of sugar on their health and we would welcome everyone to get involved.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.
BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.
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