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Follow the latest news and information from the Michigan Dental Association. We’ll keep you updated on current association activities, including the local community involvement of our member dentists.

OKEMOS, Mich. —Fruit juice at breakfast, soda pop at lunch, and a sport drink at soccer practice. From morning until night children are drinking increasing quantities of sugary drinks. Overconsumption of sugar-laden, acidic beverages puts children at greater risk for tooth decay.

Did you know a bottle of soda pop in the 1950’s contained 6.5 ounces? Today, a 12-ounce can is standard and a 20-ounce bottle is common, which means more calories, more sugar and more acid in a single serving. In fact, one-fifth of all one- and two-year-old children drink soda pop. It’s no wonder tooth decay has become the most common chronic childhood disease – five times more prevalent than asthma. More than 50 percent of children have cavities in their primary teeth by the first grade.

The high levels of sugar in soda pop and fruit juices combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid attacks your teeth – each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes – and weakens tooth enamel. Even sugar-free beverages, such as sports drinks, can cause tooth decay because they contain high levels of acid. In fact, sports drinks contain enough acid to begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.

In addition to dental problems, research shows that too much pop can lead to other medical problems, such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Determined to make their products widely available to school-aged children, companies sign exclusive contracts with schools to sell their products in vending machines. The Michigan Dental Association has long been opposed to exclusive contracts, and encourages schools to offer water and healthy alternatives to students. Right here in Michigan, many schools have made great strides toward eliminating or limiting the sale of sugary drinks during the school day and at school-related functions. There are now strict guidelines about where soda machines can be placed in school buildings and what time of day the drinks can be sold.

To find fun and interactive oral health education tools for children and adults, visit the American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy site at www.mouthhealthy.com.

About the Michigan Dental Association
The MDA works to educate the public about oral health, promotes the science and art of dentistry, and provides educational materials and services to its 5,500 members, enhancing their ability to provide quality care.


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