Implications of WHO Guideline on Sugars for dental health professionals

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The burden of oral disease is high in populations across the world. This is because of high consumption of free sugars. The WHO Guideline on Sugars Intake for Adults and Children recommended limiting free sugars to no more than 5% energy intake to protect oral health throughout the life-course. The objectives of this paper are to consider the implications of the Guideline for dental health practice and to advocate use of the common risk factor approach when providing dietary advice. As part of a broad range of actions needed to reduce free sugars intake, improved education for dental health professionals and supporting patients to eat less free sugars are key actions for the dental profession. All dental health professionals should have the skills and confidence to provide their patients with healthier eating advice, including how to limit free sugars intake. It is therefore important that dental health professionals receive adequate education in diet and nutrition, and there is a need for dental educational regulating bodies to define the content of the dental curriculum with respect to nutrition. All patients, or their parents or carers, should receive dietary advice to reduce free sugars within the context of a healthy diet for the prevention of all NCDs. Dietary advice should: (i) focus on reducing the amount of free sugars consumed; (ii) be tailored according to the patient's body mass status (eg underweight, overweight, normal weight); (iii) encourage the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain starch-rich foods; (iv) discourage the consumption of foods high in saturated fat and salt; and (v) discourage the consumption of all drinks containing free sugars. The dental health professional has an opportunity to support patients to reduce their intake of free sugars-such advice and support will have positive impacts beyond the mouth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

ID: 186086955