Good oral health begins in childhood and carries on throughout a person’s life and it is an essential component of ageing well
This year’s World Oral Health Day, on 20 March, focuses on the importance of oral health at every stage of life. There has been a lot of focus in recent years on children’s oral health, and rightly so, but promoting mouth, teeth and gum health throughout life is equally as important.
Tooth decay is prevalent across the world, with the WHO Global Oral Health Status Report (2022) estimating that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide. Of these, an estimated 2 billion people suffer from caries of permanent teeth and 514 million children suffer from caries of primary teeth.
Good oral health begins in childhood and carries on throughout a person’s life and it is an essential component of ageing well. Although a recent survey showed that some European countries are more ‘tooth-conscious’ than others – with Norway top of the list, Germany ranking 3rd and the UK 12th – there is still work to be done to help people put in place good oral hygiene practices and continue these as they age.
Opting for sugar-free or reduced products prolongs the time for regeneration
For example, although we associate sweet consumption with children, older people increasingly use hard candies to alleviate mouth dryness brought on by certain medications and other long-term health problems. As part of life-long good oral hygiene, opting for sugar-free or reduced products prolongs the time for regeneration, as well as remineralisation (self-repairing effect) on the teeth, whilst the action of sucking and chewing creates saliva that gives overall relief to the mouth.
For producers looking to create solutions that support oral health, BENEO’s tooth-friendly ingredients, including sugar replacer Isomalt and alternative sugar Palatinose, offer manufacturers possibilities for creating chocolates, chewy candies and more that do not promote tooth decay, while not compromising on taste.
Also, both ingredients have an EU health claim for being tooth-friendly and ‘contributing to tooth mineralisation’, as well as an FDA health claim for ‘not promoting tooth decay’.