Dr Ben Atkins BDS


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Dental Education

Media Dentist BBC Radio Manchester Children’s Tooth Decay

7th March 2016

Media dentist talks to BBC Radio Manchester about Children’s Tooth Decay

BBC Radio Manchester asked me to do a short interview last week. I was responding to a report that 1000 children in the Greater Manchester area (specifically Bolton and Manchester) had been admitted to hospital over the past 12 months for tooth decay.

Yes, that’s right. Admitted to hospital and requiring tooth extractions!

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a fully preventable disease, which is directly linked to our intake of sugar. As parents we have a particular responsibility to manage our children’s consumption of sugar. Because hidden sugars are found in “healthy” foods.

For example, I’ll always advocate a piece of fresh fruit as a between meals snack. But did you know that if you were to convert that banana and apple into a smoothie, it unlocks the sugars from the structure of the fruit leaving them free to attack your teeth in a way they don’t as a whole fruit.

So we need to understand what we are feeding our children. It would be helpful if legislation meant that all food packaging had a big label on it. Tell us if it contains sugar and how much! Not a figure hidden away in the small print on the back of the packet, but a big label on the front so there can be no misunderstandings.

You can listen to the ‘media dentist’ interview with BBC Radio Manchester here


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