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Irish dentists warn that a sugar tax is not a ‘quick fix’ for levels of tooth decay among children


Like many countries, Ireland has been trying to deal with a high level of tooth decay among children and experts have warned that simply adding a sugar tax to drinks and snacks is not simply going to improve the numbers overnight. The Irish Dental Association has said that this is not a ‘miraculous quick fix’ to the problem or rising levels of decay among children.

The idea of a sugar tax has received widespread backing but the IDA has voiced doubt about the suggestion, given that there are no serious studies supporting it. In a statement, the IDA said that it would be publishing a paper about the topic ‘before making an informed decision’ about whether to lend its support to the sugar tax in Ireland.

At the moment, half of all twelve-year-olds in the country and three quarters of 15-year-olds have some level of decay in their permanent teeth; a sugar tax would hopefully drive down these numbers as children have limited access to sugary drinks and snacks that cause cavities and other health problems, such as obesity and diabetes. Although many health groups support the tax, others insist that the focus should be on encouraging people to reduce their intake of unhealthy products, rather than changing how much they are paying for them.

Now ‘is a great time to start preventing emergency dentistry’


There may be more time for emergency dentistry prevention now a new year is here. Now is an excellent time to begin an oral healthcare regime that could prevent emergency dentistry, an expert has said.

Irish Dental Association president Dr Billy Davis told that now the excesses of the festive season are all over, patients will be able to take more time on things like brushing and flossing.

The new year is also a good time for getting rid of bad habits such as keeping toothbrushes for too long, the expert said, pointing out that they should be changed every three months.

"Preventative dental care is important for people of all ages, particularly young people, and is the key to long-term dental health," Dr Davis commented.

He also recommended seeing a dentist regularly to stop little problems becoming big ones and asking about professional teeth whitening rather than using at-home kits.

People may be more willing to go for emergency dentistry in future after scientists said this week they had invented a device that can block out the noise of the dentist's drill for the patient.

Increase in bruxism ‘could lead to more emergency dentistry’


People suffering from bruxism may have to have emergency dentistry.Oral healthcare professionals have warned that there could be an increase in emergency dentistry if people do not act to stop excessive teeth grinding.

Also known as bruxism, the Irish Dental Association said it has seen a sharp increase in cases, which it attributed to the economic downturn.

Usually, around one in five patients suffers from the condition, but many more are now visiting their dentists with the headaches, sore jaws and tooth damage caused by it.

Dr Dermot Canavan said: "There has been a substantial increase in the number of patients suffering from this condition. From talking to patients, it is clear that many are facing severe financial pressures."

He added that anyone suffering from such symptoms should seek help in order to prevent emergency dentistry.

Last month, Michele Bell of recently said she was advised to cut down on caffeine by her dentist after beginning to suffer from bruxism.

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