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Three reasons why the new sugar tax will not bring a reduction in the decay rate

Tooth Decay Causes Sutton

The new sugar tax will take effect from April 2018, but will it directly affect decay rates? Not likely!

  1. Tooth decay is caused by the frequency of sugar consumption and not the amount. Every time you have something sugary to eat or drink (no matter how much sugar is in it), you are feeding the millions of bacteria that live inside your mouth. These bacteria produce acids as a by-product, which causes decay in your teeth. This decaying attack usually lasts 30 minutes – which is the time it normally takes for your saliva to wash away and neutralize the acid. The more frequently you have these acid attacks, the longer the time your mouth is decaying. Therefore, reducing the amount of sugar in products isn’t going to make much difference.
  2. The sugar tax is only going to be applied to soft drinks – leaving out the rest of the goodies that cause tooth decay. Things like chocolates, sweets, juices, cakes, and alcoholic drinks will all be excluded from the tax hike.
  3. Instead of Coke, more people will go for juices, which will be relatively cheaper. Most of these juices have incredibly high sugar levels. Their consumption causes the same decay rate as fizzy drinks.

Although it may not make a big different, many dentists are happy with the tax, as a step in the right direction. The government should tax unhealthy, sugary foods more, and subsidize healthy options. Coupled with better education, this could lead to a decrease in decay rate and better overall dental health in England.


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