Every day young Aussies are bombarded with a huge amount of sugary drink marketing and the supposed ‘sweet’ deal big beverage brands are selling. What these brands don’t advertise is the serious damage regularly consuming sugary drinks has on your teeth.
Sugary drinks contribute the most added sugar to Australians’ diets. Many young males aged 12–24 are hooked on sugary drinks with some consuming a whopping 1.5 litres of soft drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks a day.
We want to raise awareness of this and encourage Aussies to think twice before consuming sugary drinks. They really aren’t worth losing your teeth over – go for water instead
These super sugary drinks don’t just ruin your smile. In the long run they can also lead to unhealthy weight gain, which increases the risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer.
Our teeth will be much stronger and healthier if we simply cut back on sugary drinks or remove them entirely from our diet.
Let’s unpack what we’re exposing our teeth to every time we take a sip from a sugary drink and uncover what we can do to save our smiles:
What actually happens to your teeth when you have a sugary drink?
- Tooth erosion (the wearing away of the tooth enamel) occurs when the acid in sugary drinks attacks the teeth, dissolving the outer surface of tooth enamel.
- Regular loss of enamel can lead to cavities and exposure of the inner layers of the tooth that may become sensitive and painful.
- Each acid attack brought on by sugary drinks lasts for around 20 minutes. Every time you take a sip of the drink, the acid damage begins all over again.
What can I do about it?
Cutting out sugary drinks altogether is best, but even reducing the amount you drink can make teeth much stronger and healthier.
Take the first step by finding out how much sugar and energy you consume from sugary drinks – it may surprise you.
Join us in encouraging others to think twice before consuming sugary drinks and promoting water as the drink of choice. Check out our communications toolkit and start sharing Thirsty with the #rethinksugarydrink hashtag.
Here are our top tips for avoiding sugary drinks:
- Avoid going down the soft drink aisle at the supermarket and beware of the specials at the checkout and service stations.
- If you’re eating out, don’t go with the default soft drink – see what other options there are, or just ask for water.
- Carry a water bottle, so you don’t have to buy a drink if you’re thirsty.
Want more help? Here are more tips to help you cut back:
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To mark World Oral Health Day, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) and the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) have launched Australia’s first comprehensive Oral Health Tracker report, revealing a series of damning statistics about the state of the population’s teeth.
The research found 90 per cent of adults have some form of tooth decay, and risky alcohol consumption and smoking habits are contributing to poor oral health.
Too many children are also ending up in hospital with preventable dental problems, with five to nine year olds having the highest rates of admissions.
The Oral Health Tracker also found about one-quarter of teens had not had a dental check-up in 12 months.
Adults aged 18 to 35 and women were more likely to feature in the 51 per cent of adults who brush their teeth twice a day, with brushing habits dropping off as people aged.