02 JANUARY 2019

Oral health campaigners are welcoming the launch of the new Change4Life campaign, which aims to combat the high sugar intake of children across the UK.

According to Public Health England, children as young as ten have already consumed 18 years’ worth of sugar.1

The new initiative encourages parents to swap out sugary foods and drinks for healthier alternatives which are far less harmful to the health of children.

The Oral Health Foundation are giving their full support to the Change4Life campaign. The charity believes the advice and guidance for parents will help bring down the heart-breaking number of childhood tooth extractions as a result of high sugar intake.

Speaking about the launch of the new campaign, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “Children across the country are consuming more sugar than they should be, far beyond recommended limits.

“This results in countless young children and teenagers having to undergo painful and distressing operations in hospital to remove decayed and rotten teeth.

“Reducing childhood sugar intake is essential, which is why initiatives like Change4Life are vitally important.

“Making simple, everyday swaps and reducing the amount of sugar children are having on a regular basis, will provide several long-term benefits to their oral health and lowering the risk of childhood obesity and diabetes in later life.”

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and teenagers, despite being entirely preventable.

On average, a five-year old child in England has between three and four decayed teeth.

Read our information on tooth decay to learn more about the role sugar plays and how to prevent it by looking after your oral health.

To find out more about the Change4Life campaign, how you can make a sugar swap and developing a healthier, more oral health friendly diet please click here.


  1. GOV.UK. (2019). NDNS: results from years 7 and 8 (combined). [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-7-and-8-combined [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019].