Worried about ‘Coke’, these kids are fed up on soft drinks and suffer from early tooth decay

Health professionals warn of bottle syndrome: Babies as young as 12 months old who already have mouths full of cavities.

Called “Coca Babies”, these are young children with rotten black teeth, fed sugary drinks, particularly sodas and in particular Coca-Cola. A recent article in Mediacités also mentioned this phenomenon in Hauts-de-France, although it is not limited to this region.

Some early childhood and health professionals report that children are used to drinking cola. On social networks, videos intended to be funny show parents drinking bread and making their young children – even their own child – drink Coca-Cola, sometimes poured directly into the bottle. Eating habits are far from trivial.

Teeth in rooted condition

This phenomenon is well known to health professionals. “This is called baby bottle syndrome,” explains BFMTV.com Marco Mazifet, general delegate of the Federation of Dental Surgeons of France. Babies, from the age of 12 months, already have black incisors, as if they were bitten off.

“These are children who sleep with a bottle or a drink during the day and in the evening after meals and sugary drinks, such as cola. In the office, we receive children with teeth in root condition, who are very fragile and very injured.”

This syndrome, also called “early multiple caries in young children”, is manifested by the appearance of caries on the milk teeth, from the incisors to the canines, and even the molars.

“Saliva is no longer able to neutralize the acids that form after eating, because these children constantly consume sugary drinks, which leads to an imbalance, explains Christophe Leckart, dental surgeon and wearer, BFMTV.com.—Word from the French Federation of Oral Health (UFSB) It’s a double problem with soft drinks: They are acidic products that strip minerals from teeth.

‘notable discrepancies’

In those children younger than 6 years old, it is sometimes necessary to remove several, or even almost all, teeth. Thus some children find themselves without teeth until their permanent teeth grow in, from the first 5-6 years of age until about 12 years old.

“In children, the process is very heavy, continues Christoph Leckart. The consequences are manifold, as are for chewing, communication as well as on social and self-esteem. Imagine the irony these children hear from their peers.”

There are no national or regional data on the extent of the problem. The last numbers date back to 2006. At that time, The French Federation of Oral and Dental Health (UFSBD) has investigated children’s health, demonstrating its improvement. In doing so she indicated that at the age of 12, the caries index (which represents the average number of missing or filled teeth per child) – which was 4.20 in 1987 and 1.94 in 1998 – was 1.23 in 2006. And the rate of 6-year-olds Completely decay-free 63.4% that year, improving again.

Haro on sugar

Despite the positive overall picture, the association noted “notable” disparities in oral health. “At 12 years of age, 6% of unaffected children have 50% affected teeth and 20% have 72% affected teeth.” The Federation noted the inequality associated with the social status of parents. “Children of farmers, working and inactive people, as well as children attending school in school districts in rural areas or rural areas, are the hardest hit.”

For Marco Mazifet, dental surgeons in France, if this syndrome is related to poor dental hygiene, it is also related to poor dietary habits. In particular, excessive consumption of sugar, both in drinks and in solid foods. Hence he denounces the presence of hidden sugars in salty products, especially processed products, and refers to breakfast products intended for children.

“With a bowl of cereal in the morning, we have already consumed our daily dose of sugar, even without drinking orange juice. Moreover, we might be under the impression that a glass of orange juice in the morning for a child or toddler is good for health. But no, that’s too much. We are forced to swallow the equivalent of six oranges in twenty seconds.”

Coca-Cola, soda, fruit juice, syrup, flavored water

He remembers that the recommended daily dose of sugar is 25 grams for an adult and half for a child. For Christoph Likert, whether it’s soda, soda or fruit juice, the problem is the same: “It’s sugar.”

Oral hygienists remember the instructions: Do not let the child sleep with a sugary drink, whether it is cola, milk, syrup or flavored water. It is necessary to brush children’s teeth after meals in the morning and evening with fluoridated toothpaste. Far from dental problems, Marco Mazievit warns of the long-term repercussions.

“The teeth are only the visible part of the human body. Such amounts of sugar eaten at such a young age make these children ideal candidates for diabetes or early obesity. We can’t imagine that but the effects on health are catastrophic.”

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