World Oral Health Day (WOHD) approaches on March 20, 2015, FDI World Dental Federation is advising people to consider the impact of frequent sugar consumption.

Dental caries is the most common, non-communicable disease in the world. Research has revealed that sugars are the main cause of tooth decay.? ?When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in the plaque feeds on the sugar and releases acid that attacks teeth for about 1 hour. Frequent consumption of sugar allows prolonged acid “attacks,” weakening the protective outer layer of the teeth.

Speaking about this process, Dr Jaime Edelson, chair of the FDI World Oral Health Day Task team, commented, “Sugar reacts with bacteria in the mouth, which together form an acid that damages the enamel. When this keeps happening, a hole is formed in the tooth, which then requires filling and may over time lead to an extraction. By paying close attention to how often we are consuming sugary foods and drinks, the number of acid attacks on our teeth can be reduced.”

WOHD is an opportunity for FDI and dental professionals to draw attention to proven oral care behaviors that people can adopt to protect their teeth for life. These include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cutting down consumption of sugary foods and drinks between meals, and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks when on-the-go and brushing is not feasible.