21 May 2018

A leading health charity has exposed the UK’s shocking dependence on energy drinks and are calling for action to help reduce the hugely damaging effect they are having on the nation’s oral health.

Startling new research from the Oral Health Foundation has discovered that almost one in four (23%) British adults say they use energy drinks to get through their day1.

Higher levels of consumption were recorded in working adults, who claim they provide more energy for them to get through long days.

Further findings around energy drink consumption in the UK discovered more than one in ten (12%) said they have an energy drink at least one a day. This figure rises to almost one in three (32%) of 25-34 year olds.

Some energy drinks contain 55 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of sugar and almost twice as much as the recommended daily allowance for free sugars.

The Oral Health Foundation says energy drinks are often also dangerously acidic and are causing a devastating effect on the nation’s oral health.

As part of National Smile Month, which runs from 14 May to 14 June, the charity wants to raise awareness about the dangers of energy drinks and share the important message that if you need a caffeine boost, there are much more dentally friendly ways to do so.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation says: “We are incredibly worried about the growth in popularity in energy drinks in recent years to the point where a large number of the population now feel as though they need them to function throughout the day.

“A dependence on energy drinks can very quickly lead to severe oral health problems such as tooth decay and erosion, as well as lead to any number of other health conditions and diseases.

“Energy drinks have exceedingly high levels of sugar and as they have zero nutritional value, there really is no need to consume them.

“Energy drinks are adding an unnecessary risk to the UK’s health and over-consumption is causing both enormous and irreparable damage to the quality of life for millions of Brits.”

The Oral Health Foundation wants there to be a change in how much sugar Brits consume in their diets and hopes that increased awareness about the potential damage it can cause to their oral health will help achieve this.

Dentist and Trustee of the charity, Dr Ben Atkins, says: “Tooth decay and other oral health problems are some of the biggest health issues we face in the UK currently. Many of these can be completely avoided with a good oral health routine and by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet.

“The best way to maintain energy levels is with a healthy and balanced diet, containing fruit and vegetables and slow-releasing carbohydrates that aren’t packed with unscrupulous amounts of added sugars.   

 “If you do feel that you need something to get you through the day, coffee, tea and even water are great ways to get a quick energy boost”.  

National Smile Month is a fantastic opportunity to find out what you can do to look after your oral health, and that of those around you, in order to keep smiles healthy for life.

National Smile Month is being supported by some of the nation’s best-known brands and retailers. Oral-B are platinum sponsors of the campaign, with further support from Wrigley, Philips, Regenerate Enamel Science, POLO® Sugar Free and Curaprox.

Visit www.smilemonth.org to find out how to look after your smile and get involved in the campaign.


1. Oral Health Foundation (2018) ‘National Smile Month 2018 United Kingdom Survey’, Atomik Research, Survey, April 2018, Sample 2,005