Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Implications of WHO Guideline on Sugars for dental health professionals.

  • Moynihan, Paula1, 2
  • Makino, Yuka2
  • Petersen, Poul Erik2, 3
  • Ogawa, Hiroshi2, 4
  • 1 School of Dental Sciences, Centre for Oral Health Research, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Oral Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.
  • 2 Oral Health Programme, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health Through the Life-Course, Oral Health Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 4 Division of Preventive Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Science, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, WHO Collaborating Centre for Translation of Oral Health Science, Niigata, Japan. , (Japan)
Published Article
Community dentistry and oral epidemiology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2018
DOI: 10.1111/cdoe.12353
PMID: 29168887


The burden of oral disease is high in populations across the world. This is because of high consumption of free sugars. The WHO Guideline on Sugars Intake for Adults and Children recommended limiting free sugars to no more than 5% energy intake to protect oral health throughout the life-course. The objectives of this paper are to consider the implications of the Guideline for dental health practice and to advocate use of the common risk factor approach when providing dietary advice. As part of a broad range of actions needed to reduce free sugars intake, improved education for dental health professionals and supporting patients to eat less free sugars are key actions for the dental profession. All dental health professionals should have the skills and confidence to provide their patients with healthier eating advice, including how to limit free sugars intake. It is therefore important that dental health professionals receive adequate education in diet and nutrition, and there is a need for dental educational regulating bodies to define the content of the dental curriculum with respect to nutrition. All patients, or their parents or carers, should receive dietary advice to reduce free sugars within the context of a healthy diet for the prevention of all NCDs. Dietary advice should: (i) focus on reducing the amount of free sugars consumed; (ii) be tailored according to the patient's body mass status (eg underweight, overweight, normal weight); (iii) encourage the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain starch-rich foods; (iv) discourage the consumption of foods high in saturated fat and salt; and (v) discourage the consumption of all drinks containing free sugars. The dental health professional has an opportunity to support patients to reduce their intake of free sugars-such advice and support will have positive impacts beyond the mouth. © 2017 The World Health Organization.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times