New research by the British Dental Journal, has found that the NHS could save £8.2 million a year on dental procedures and treatments, if all 12 year olds across the UK chewed sugar-free gum after eating or drinking.
This is thanks to the way sugar-free gum helps to prevent tooth decay, which is easily preventable.
The latest government figures show that a high percentage of young people in the UK are experiencing high levels of tooth decay. Shockingly, 35% of 12 year olds claimed to feel embarrassed about laughing or smiling due to the condition of their teeth.
The British Dental Health Foundation recommends for children over 7 to chew sugar-free gum throughout the day to help neutralise harmful plaque acids and reduce the risk of decay.
Co-author of the study. Professor Liz Kay of Peninsula Dental School says:
“The findings of this study are hugely exciting as they reveal a new and easy way of helping people improve their oral health. Crucially, whilst these figures are significant, they refer only to cost reductions for treating 12-year-olds in the UK; if this model was to be applied to the whole population then there is a real potential to create substantial NHS savings. Clinical evidence has already proved that sugar-free gum can help prevent caries and now we can also see a clear financial advantage.”