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Community Dent Health. 1999 Jun;16(2):68-71.

Sugar, drinks, deprivation and dental caries in 14-year-old children in the north west of England in 1995.

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North West Dental Public Health Resource Centre, Wesham Park Hospital, UK.



To examine associations between dental caries and reported drink consumption.


A cross-sectional caries prevalence study including reported drink consumption.


Secondary schools across the former North Western Region of England.


A random sample of 6,014, 14-year-old children.


The mean DMFT of the sample was 2.74. The reported mean weekly consumption of cans of carbonated drinks was 5.66, with a range of zero to 42. There was a significant gender difference in drink consumption and a significant correlation between the reported weekly consumption of cans of carbonated drinks and DMFT. Logistic regression analysis showed tea drinkers had a significantly lower DMFT than coffee drinkers and that this effect was independent of the addition of sugar and the number of cans of drink consumed. Reported use of sugar-free carbonated drinks was not associated with better dental health.


Reported consumption of sugared drinks and carbonated drinks was associated with significantly higher levels of dental caries. Drinking tea was associated with lower levels of caries. Sugar-free drinks were not associated with better dental health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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