Healthy teeth for a healthy life

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The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) supports World Oral Health Day (WOHD)

Brussels, 20th March 2020: Our health and well-being have always counted among the most essential aspects of our life. Today, in light of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, this becomes more evident than ever.1 In the current global situation, it becomes even more important to take good care of our health, including oral health that can impact and influence our overall well-being. This is what makes World Oral Health Day a key opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of caring for our health: on this occasion, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) joins forces with organisations around the world to Unite for Mouth Health, because a healthy mouth enables all of us to simply enjoy life. And that is something definitely worth pledging for.2

Today, oral diseases remain a major global health challenge:2,3

  • 50% of the world population currently suffer from untreated oral diseases, which accounts for an increase by 38% since 1990;
  • Almost 80% of the global child population have tooth decay;
  • Key risk factors for oral disease include tobacco use, the harmful use of alcohol, and excess sugar consumption, with the last being a primary cause of tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease.

Oral diseases, such as tooth decay and gum disease, can affect many things we take for granted, like eating, speaking and smiling. An unhealthy mouth reduces our enjoyment of life. World Oral Health Day, organised by FDI World Dental Federation, aims to raise global awareness on oral health and on its importance as it not only impacts our mouth but also our overall health and well-being.2

ISA pledges for World Oral Health Day 2020

In line with the 2020 campaign theme “Say Ahh: Unite for Mouth Health”, the ISA is proud to support oral health by pledging to:

World Diabetes Day 2017
  • Inform people on how low/no calorie sweeteners can help limit excess sugar intake: with excess sugar consumption being a primary cause of tooth decay, low/no calorie sweeteners can be useful to help cut down on sugar without affecting the enjoyment of sweet-tasting foods and drinks.
  • Communicate the science on the role low/no calorie sweeteners can play in good oral health: unlike sugar and other fermentable ingredients of our diet, low/no calorie sweeteners are not broken down by oral bacteria; therefore, they do not contribute to tooth demineralisation, which is one of the reasons for tooth decay.
  • Continue supporting healthy food environments: due to their properties, mentioned above, low/no calorie sweeteners enable food and drink manufacturers to reformulate products and support oral health by contributing to healthy food environments.

Download ISA pledges for World Oral Health Day 2020 by clicking here to learn more about our pledges and related scientific references.

Oral diseases are largely preventable

Taking care of our mouth is crucial at any age, both for our oral health and general health and well-being. This includes a good oral hygiene routine, regular dental check-ups and a healthy lifestyle, including following a low-sugar healthy diet. Low/no calorie sweeteners have the advantage of providing the desired sweet taste to our foods and drinks, while, unlike carbohydrates, they are not broken down by oral bacteria, and so do not contribute to tooth demineralisation, which is one of the causes of tooth decay. Therefore, low/no calorie sweeteners can fit well within a tooth-friendly diet and have an important role to play in this context.4,5

More information on the role of low/no calorie sweeteners in this context is available in our dedicated infographic by clicking here.

Engage in the conversation around World Oral Health Day 2020 on social media by using the dedicated hashtags: #ISA4WOHD#WOHD20#UniteForMouthHealth.

  1. https://www.who.int/
  2. www.worldoralhealthday.org
  3. FDI World Dental Federation. The Challenge of Oral Disease – A call for global action. The Oral Health Atlas. 2nd ed. Geneva. 2015. Available online: https://www.fdiworlddental.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/complete_oh_atlas.pdf
  4. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that: “Consumption of foods/drinks containing intense sweeteners instead of sugar contributes to the maintenance of tooth mineralisation”. EFSA Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners. EFSA 2011 Journal 9(6): 2229, and 9(4): 2076
  5. FDI World Dental Federation Policy Statement: Sugar substitutes and their role in caries prevention. Adopted by the FDI General Assembly, 26 September 2008, Stockholm, Sweden. Available online here: https://www.fdiworlddental.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/Sugar-substitutes-and-their-role-…