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Hospitals ban sugary, fizzy drinks

Clampdown is aimed to help prevent tooth decay

NHS England has announced that sugary, fizzy drinks will not be sold in NHS hospitals across England from July. In a move to help prevent tooth decay an updated contract circulated to hospitals last week included a clause that prohibited the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks on site.The ban on sweet, fizzy drinks will apply to all NHS England hospitals and will include major on-site retailers such as Marks & Spencer, WH Smith and Subway who will be banned from selling the drinks to staff, visitors and patients. As part of the initiative to help prevent tooth decay, the ban also includes drinks sold in hospital cafes and staff canteens.This bold move has been welcomed by our dentist in Manchester and major health authorities after it was revealed that tooth extraction as a result of tooth decay is the single most common cause of hospitalisation for children under five years of age. Not only does this cause serious, un-needed distress for youngsters, but it is putting unnecessary strain on already stretched NHS services.The ban, or indeed any move to prevent tooth decay, especially in children, is something we at Carisbrook Dental wholeheartedly welcome and fully support.Too many children are readily given drinks and snacks that are over-laden with sugar, while all too often these drinks also contain carbon dioxide to provide the fizz. This excessive combination of sugar and fizz is a potent dental danger that creates carbonic acid in the mouth and which in turn attacks and corrodes tooth enamel.Hence the growing problem of bad teeth in infants and the urgent need to help prevent tooth decay especially for vulnerable young children.This is something we have been very aware of at Carisbrook and we take every opportunity possible to provide professional hygiene advice to all our patients – particularly for parents and young children. We always encourage a sensible diet – which includes the avoidance of sugary, fizzy drinks. We also promote regular dental visits, even for very young children and we offer sensible cleaning advice that assists parents to teach children the correct brushing techniques.This approach certainly works because our patients have very low filling rates and we have never had the need to refer a young patient to a hospital for tooth extraction as a result of tooth decay.So while the drinks ban may at first appear to be a radical step, any move to prevent tooth decay is something we definitely support and we hope that the initiative proves to be very successful.If you would like any further advice on dental hygiene, diet or how to prevent tooth decay, please make an appointment to visit one of our dental team. You call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.

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