A dentist is calling for an overhaul of food packaging to help save children’s teeth.
Ewan Bramley, who owns Ewan Bramley Dental Care in North Shields, is pleading with companies to show the hidden sugars in their foods to coincide with World Oral Health Day on Wednesday.
Government statistics show that nine out of ten children’s teeth extractions nationwide are down to tooth decay, with 3,078 children in the North East having teeth removed in 2017-18.
Ewan, 45, said: “Food labelling in general is a load of rubbish.
“The vast majority of parents are trying hard to look after their children’s teeth, but what happens is they have a list in their heads of the traditional foods and drinks that are bad for their kids’ teeth – chocolate, cake, fizzy drinks, things like that.
“But that list is incomplete. It is vital that people are given the right information about ingredients that are bad for teeth, so they can make an informed decision.
“Sugar is one of the biggest problems this country has – it is time for the food industry to stand up and take responsibility to help solve it.”
He added: “People have to remember that any ingredient in their food that ends in ‘ose’ is a sugar – for example glucose, fructose, sucrose, and even lactose, which is in milk!
“There are also a whole load of other substances which are derived from sugar but have unfamiliar names – manufacturers are trying to hide the sugar from the consumer! People need to be made aware of what these are.”
“Then you have juices and other products containing just ‘fruit sugar’, with ‘no added sugar’. Fruit sugar is still a sugar and still bad for teeth, so should be had in moderation.
“Bread, crisps, children’s yogurts, canned beans, ketchup and spaghetti all contain sugars. The public need to be made aware of what is in their food and drink.
“World Oral Health Day 2019 is the perfect time to start making this change.”
To read more on the secret sugars in your food, visit ewanbramley.com/blog
To contact the practice call 0191 2596506, or follow them on social media @ewanbramleydentalcare