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News / October 6, 2008

IDA calls to ban school vending machines

by Guy Hiscott

The Irish Dental Association has called for a ban on school vending machines to help promote children’s oral health.

Dr Rosarii McCafferty, president of the Public Dental Surgeons Group, warned sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks purchased by young people from these machines are increasing tooth decay and obesity.

‘There is convincing evidence from both home and abroad that the frequent consumption of sugary foods, fizzy drinks and fatty snack foods are a cause of both tooth decay and tooth wear in teenagers and the Irish Dental Association believes the removal of vending machines or perhaps restocking them with healthy options would result in an improvement in both oral health and obesity levels,’ Dr McCafferty said.

Dr McCafferty pointed to the most recent research, which has shown that more than three-quarters of Irish 15-year-olds have had some decay in their permanent teeth and almost one-third of these teenagers have suffered irreversible tooth wear that exposed the dentine portion of the tooth in at least one permanent front tooth.