Sugars expert Prof. Paula Moynihan talks tooth decay and other NCDs in 12 December webinar
In her webinar, Sugars and oral health: evidence to practice, Professor Paula Moynihan will highlight how limiting the amount and frequency of sugars* intake can help reduce rates of tooth decay and other noncommunicable diseases. Prof. Moynihan is an accomplished professional and scholar dedicated to oral health and nutrition. She is particularly interested in adopting a holistic approach to health and oral health, underlining the mouth and body connection and treating the two together.
About the webinar
Sugars and oral health: evidence to practice is based on the most recent evidence related to intake of sugars and the associated risk of tooth decay and other noncommunicable diseases.
"[Tooth decay is] a totally preventable disease, but to get rid of the cause, which is dietary sugars, it's not just about giving patients advice. We really need both upstream and downstream approaches: making sure that there are less sugars out there, that we're exposed to less of it, and that less of it is produced – so let's see if we can successfully reduce sugars intake to help prevent [tooth decay] but also to help address the obesity problem."
Prof. Paula Moynihan (British Dental Journal, October 2017)
The webinar, designed for oral health professionals, will detail the globally-recommended levels of sugars intake and will offer an overview of approaches to reduce consumption, from large-scale interventions, such as lowering global production of sugars, to individual actions, such as delivering dietary advice to patients during dental visits.
Earn one continuing education credit
After successful completion of the continuing education (C.E.) quiz at the end of the webinar, participants will be able to download ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program and AGD Program Approval for Continuing Education certificates.
The webinar is hosted on the Colgate Oral Health Network for Professional Education and Development platform.
About the speaker
Professor Paula Moynihan is president-elect of the International Association for Dental Research, professor of nutrition and oral health at Newcastle University School of Dental Sciences, director of the Newcastle University Centre for Oral Health Research, and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Oral Health.
What do you hope to achieve through your upcoming webinar on 12 December?
I hope that I will be able to clarify the many misconceptions that there are over sugars and risk of tooth decay and other diseases, including the relative importance of the amount of sugars we consume compared with the frequency with which we consume them, different types of sugars for example, honey, sugars in fruit juices and dried fruits. I hope that participants will have an increased understanding of the evidence that underpins current recommendations for sugars and also how current intakes of sugars compare with these recommendations.
What steps can oral health professionals take to work more closely with other health professionals to reduce the amount and frequency of sugars consumption?
Oral health professionals should learn about nutrition and healthier eating and the impacts of nutrition beyond the mouth. Oral health professionals should be able to give dietary advice that is in line with advice for prevention of all chronic diet-related diseases, not just tooth decay – and should be aware that any advice that is given to patients as part of prevention will have wider impacts on the body. However, it is also important that other health professionals learn more about oral health and its importance to overall health and wellbeing. We need to consider shared learning, reaching out to other professions for continuing education and learning from each other. Keeping up to date with current dietary recommendations and the evidence behind them is a good way to ensure that advice given is consistent across professions.
What advice might you offer to those who have consumed sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) throughout their lives, not necessarily soft drinks, but fruit juices, perhaps believing they are healthy? How can we help people phase-out the daily glass of orange juice at breakfast?
We need to explain to patients that SSB are a major source of sugars in the diet and by reducing consumption or by cutting them out one can significantly lower both sugar and calorie intake. We should explain that one cup of fruit juice (8 ounces) can contain the daily maximum for sugars intake for an adult, and that although 100% juice contains vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals it does not supply the fibre found in whole fruit. Drinking SSB including fruit juices doesn’t necessarily curb hunger and so calories can pile up! My recommendation would be to hydrate with water at breakfast time and perhaps save 100% juice as a weekend treat – limiting the portion size to 4 ounces.
*Sugars in this article refers to free sugars that are added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates. It does not refer to sugar that is naturally present in fruits, vegetables, and milk.