In a somewhat controversial move the New York City Board of Health enacted a ban of large-sized sugary drinks. The American Dental Association’s (ADAs) President William Calnon made a statement thanking Mayor Bloomberg from bringing attention to the issue that “Frequent and excessive consumption of soda and other sugary beverages raises the risk of adverse health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.” While Calnon admits that a ban of the sale of large sodas and other sugary drink at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters may not be the most publicly favored method, he applauds that the attention on this matter is a step in the right direction.
The banned products include sweetened rinks in containers larger than 16 ounces and may consist of:
- Energy drinks
- Presweetened iced teas
- Non-diet soda
Drinks not affected:
- Fruit juices
- Dairy based drinks (ex. Milkshakes)
- Alcoholic beverages
- No-calorie diet sodas
Dentists and other health professionals have long stressed the importance of a healthy diet, particularly one that was void of health-damaging products such as soft drinks. A study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that people aged 20 to 44 had the highest rate of untreated cavities, at 25 percent. It is estimated that pain from untreated dental disease results in millions of missed school and work hours.
The ADA has long awaited an opportunity to educate the public on the effects of nutrition on oral health. New York City’s ban on large soft drinks has opened the doors for the ADA to gain widespread exposure so that they may warn the public on the harms of tooth decay and cavities.
If you have damage to teeth such as weakened tooth enamel or cavities the cause may be from sugary food and drinks. To remedy these maladies your dentist may be able to help fill your cavity with a tooth-colored filling or improve the appearance and condition of your damaged tooth with various restorative or cosmetic treatments.