Dental Health

Dental caries or tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic childhood diseases and can affect the overall health of children and even adults. The good news is that dental disease is preventable. The Dental Health Group works toward goals to prevent dental disease, promote oral health, and protect the community with a competent workforce. View the full article on Dental Health in Our Community (PDF).

New Dietary Guidelines to Reduce Dental Caries

Dr. Susan B. Bishop, Dental Clinic Director, strongly recommends limited sugar intake to reduce overall ill effects on health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have released the "2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans," which include a call to limit the consumption of added sugars.

The guidelines recommend that Americans limit added sugars to 10% of their daily calorie intake. Added sugars are defined in the guidelines as sugars and syrups that are included in foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Therefore, the guideline does not apply to naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruits and milk.

Goal of the Recommendations

The goal of the evidence-based nutrition recommendations is to help the general public and policymakers make better-informed choices about their diets.

"Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives," stated Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, in a press release. "The dietary guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition, so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease."

This is the first time for the guidelines to include a recommended limit to the consumption of added sugars.

Sugar Statistics

Americans consistently consume more added sugars than the recommended 10% of daily calorie intake, and the majority of added sugars come from consuming sugar-sweetened beverages that are not milk or fresh fruit, as well as snacks and sweets, according to recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys findings cited in the report. Data courtesy of the "2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."Added Sugars Intake Chart