ISA is smiling for life on World Oral Health Day

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Brussels 20 March 2015: The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) strongly supports World Oral Heath Day and the World Dental Federation in reminding people to protect their teeth and prevent oral diseases by adopting healthy oral care behaviour.

Oral diseases are preventable, yet almost everyone is likely to be affected during the lifetime. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates it to be the fourth most expensive condition to treat, making it a significant public health concern1. Dental caries are the most common non-communicable disease around the world2, the impact of which can have a significant impact on overall health, from tooth decay to oral cancer and other serious related conditions3.

The treatment of oral diseases remains unaffordable or inaccessible for large segments of society, and can result in millions of school and work hours to be lost annually across the world4. Yet simple everyday habits like brushing our teeth twice a day, having a healthy diet, avoiding snacking and regular oral care5 all contribute to improved oral health. When brushing isn’t possible, chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to help keep teeth clean and healthy after eating or drinking.

Low calorie sweeteners are a great contributor to oral health management and prevention, substantiated by a wealth of evidence on the relationship between the consumption of low calorie sweeteners and the maintenance of tooth mineralisation6. As low calorie sweeteners cannot be fermented by oral bacteria and do not produce acids that erode tooth enamel, they subsequently do not contribute to tooth decay7. Used as a sugar replacement in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and sugar-free chewing gums, they are a key tool in reducing everyday sugar exposure, allowing people to enjoy sweetness whilst reducing the risk of dental caries.

Moreover, conclusions from a recently published peer-reviewed consensus statement on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners, confirmed positive results from latest scientific studies showing the beneficial role that low calorie sweeteners can play in everyday diet and lifestyle choices8.

The ISA believes that raising awareness around the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth, is paramount, and that by making smart swaps in our daily diet can lead to a healthier and better life for people of all ages.

  1. FDI White Paper_OralHealthWorldwide
  2. World Dental Federation – World Oral Health Day,
  3. World Health Organization,
  4. FDI White Paper_OralHealthWorldwide
  5. World Dental Federation – World Oral Health Day,
  6. EFSA NDA (EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products Nutrition and Allergies (2011) Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners and contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight (ID 1136, 1444, 4299), reduction of post-prandial glycaemic responses (ID 4298), maintenance of normal blood glucose concentrations (ID 1221, 4298), and maintenance of tooth mineralisation by decreasing tooth demineralisation (ID 1134, 1167, 1283) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 9: 2229.
  7. Sigrid et al. (2014) Consensus statement on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners. Nutrition Bulletin, December 2014
  8. Sigrid et al. (2014) Consensus statement on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners. Nutrition Bulletin, December 2014