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Indians have the world’s worst oral health. Some recent studies seem to point to sugar as the culprit. However, I do not believe that it is the only reason.

Indians are certainly not the worlds highest consumers of sugar. This alone should tell us that it can’t be the only reason for the poor dental health numbers. The conclusions drawn by these studies are flawed.

In my opinion the problem is caused by a combination of poor dental hygiene and a high carbohydrate diet, which causes sugars to be formed by enzyme action in the mouth, in addition to the ingestion of sugar.

The problem is wheat and rice, stuck in the spaces between the teeth, combined with poor brushing technique and practically non existent rates of dental flossing in the population.

Indians must stop focusing on only brushing the exposed tooth surface and must move their attention to the spaces between the teeth. We must reduce the importance given to brushing in the morning, and focus on brushing before going to sleep at night.

Also, brushing twice a day is not enough. We must also floss every night, and teach their children to do so as well.

Here is an article in NPR that points to a study that blames sugar for bad oral health: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/07/19/743500431/study-sugar-rules-the-world-and-ruins-teeth

Here is a link to a map that compares the prevalence of dental cavities amongst various populations across the world – https://www.fdiworlddental.org/sites/default/files/media/16_c_map_oh2.pdf

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