For a third consecutive year, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) supports the World Dental Federation in celebrating World Oral Health Day (WOHD) on 20th March. This year, WOHD aims to get everyone to recognise the impact their oral health has on overall physical health1 and wellbeing and to spread the message “It all starts here. Healthy mouth. Healthy body”.2
Despite a global decline in caries, oral diseases still remain a problem for many groups of people in Europe, and the socio-economic burden in EU is considerable: they affect the majority of school-aged children and adults and account for 5% of public health spending.3This annual celebration is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of good oral health and emphasize the value of practicing good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing daily; following a healthy diet; limiting snacks between meals; and choosing foods and drinks that are tooth-friendly such as those containing low calorie sweeteners.
Low calorie sweeteners are well-known non-cariogenic ingredients, which means that they are not broken down by oral bacteria and do not contribute to tooth decay.4 There is scientific consensus that they have dental benefits when used in food, beverages, toothpaste and medications, provided other constituents are also non-cariogenic and non-erosive.5 Research also shows that chewing sugar-free gum can help protect teeth in a number of ways.6 This benefit has also been recognised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has published a positive opinion on the claim that low calorie sweeteners may decrease the rate of tooth demineralization.7 Used as a sugar replacement in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and sugar-free chewing gums, low calorie sweeteners are a key tool in reducing everyday sugar intake, allowing people to enjoy sweetness whilst reducing the risk of dental caries. It’s never too early or too late to start looking after your oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene every day, including by using ‘tooth-friendly’ low calorie sweeteners, is the key to “Healthy mouth. Healthy Body”.2
You may read more information about the role of low calorie sweeteners in prevention and management of oral diseases here.
For more information about World Oral Health Day 2016 please visit the WOHD website. (#WOHD16)
Follow ISA and our dedicated #ISA4WOHD16 on Twitter to learn more about World Oral Health Day 2016.