As part of National Oral Health Day, the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) is encouraging Kiwis to swap sugary drinks for water for 30 days this November.
New Zealand adults and children are ranked the third most overweight and obese among OECD countries. Dental treatments were the second biggest cause of hospital admissions last year for children. More than 6,600 children under 12 years ended up in the hospital to have one or more rotten teeth pulled under general anaesthetic.
NZDA President, Dr Bill O’Connor says dentists are committed to preventing thousands of kiwis suffering from the effects of sugary drinks.
“Sports drinks, fizzy drinks and even the ‘diet’ versions pose a major risk to dental health. They contribute to tooth decay that requires expensive fillings or creates gaps in our mouth where healthy teeth should be.”
Dr O’Connor says the problem doesn’t stop there, as there are other issues including drink acidity and extra kilojoules.
“We’re also pushing the message that these drinks are highly acidic – each sip can erode or eat away teeth – not to mention that switching to water will reduce unnecessary energy consumption. We encourage all kiwis to take this challenge and kick start a healthy summer.”