New guidelines related to the consumption of soft drinks were welcomed last week, but the Australian Dental Association (ADA) believes they don’t go far enough.
"While the Guidelines suggest that the consumption of sugar-sweetedned drinks, such as soft drinks, is associated with increased risk of weight gain in adults and children, that only tells half the story," according to the Chair of the ADA's Oral Health Committee, Dr Peter Alldritt.
“Sugar sweetened drinks are also a major factor in dental decay, and this applies whether the drinks are sweetened or diet drinks.
Dr Alldritt said that whether or not a soft drink has 'low sugar', it still has the same amount of acidity, and therefore still increases the risk of dental cavities.
The ADA recommends that the consumption of soft drinks should be limited, whether or not they are high or low in sugar.
"Australians should be careful to limit their consumption of cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks and soft drinks, both full flavour and low sugar varieties."
Dr Alldritt said that children and teens should be encouraged to drink water as much as possible.
“It is the best drink for their general health, their dental health and hydration,” said Dr Alldritt.