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  • Welcome to Spotlight Advanced.

  • I'm Adam Navis.

  • And I'm Katy Blake.

  • Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting.

  • It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

  • What do you think is the most common disease in the world?

  • It is not cancer or heart disease or malaria.

  • It is tooth decay, or dental caries or cavities.

  • HALF of the world's population has problems with their teeth.

  • The doctors and experts who treat these issues are dentists.

  • Dr. Wagner Marcenes is a professor of Dentistry at the University of London.

  • He is part of an international research team.

  • They study tooth, or dental, health around the world.

  • In a study from 2010, he explained how big this issue is:

  • "There are close to four billion people in the world who suffer from untreated problems

  • with their teeth.

  • These problems cause tooth pain.

  • They prevent people from eating and possibly sleeping properly.

  • ... We are facing serious problems in the population's mouth health."

  • Dental caries are a very painful and unpleasant problem.

  • But one main reason for them is sweet.

  • It is eating sugar and sugary food.

  • Eating sugary food is bad for teeth.

  • But sugary food is becoming more popular around the world.

  • So, how can people prevent these tooth problems?

  • Today's Spotlight is on your teeth and sugar.

  • Most adult humans have 32 teeth.

  • Teeth help our faces keep their correct shape.

  • They help us communicate through talking or smiling.

  • And of course, they help us eat food.

  • Everything we eat and drink passes through our mouths.

  • The Mayo Clinic calls teeth the 'window to your overall health'.

  • They explain on their website:

  • Did you know that the health of your mouth offers clues about your overall health?

  • Did you know that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?

  • Like other areas of the body, your mouth is filled with bacteria.

  • Most of it is harmless.

  • But your mouth is the entry point to your body systems.

  • Some of these bacteria can cause disease.

  • Your oral, or mouth, health may add to other diseases and conditions, including problems

  • with your heart, lungs or difficulties during pregnancy.”

  • So how do we keep our mouths healthy?

  • What we eat and drink has a great effect on our whole body.

  • And it has particular results on the health of our teeth.

  • One way to see these results is to look at what humans have eaten over many years.

  • As our diet has changedour dental health has changed too.

  • Middle income countries have the highest level of tooth decay in the world.

  • But levels of tooth decay in lower income countries are increasing quickly.

  • Habib Benzian is the director of global health and policy at New York University's College

  • of Dentistry.

  • He explains to NPR how diet changes affect people's teeth:

  • Low-income countries usually have traditional diets.

  • They eat more plant and meat-based foods.

  • They eat less sugar and processed foods.

  • But each country's social and economic conditions change.

  • As that happens, there is a change in what people eat.

  • It is a part of convenience.

  • If you work all day and come home, you want quick food.

  • Fast foods are fried, high in fat, sweetand very cheap."

  • Eating a lot of sugar is one of the most unhealthy things you can do.

  • The World Dental Federation says eating and drinking sugar is the main cause of tooth

  • decay.

  • And globally, people are eating and drinking more and more sugar.

  • The World Health Organization suggests each person should eat and drink less than 25 grams

  • of sugar a day.

  • But in many countries the average person eats and drinks much more than that.

  • In some countries the average person eats two, three, or even four times more than that!

  • As a result, there are a lot of ideas about how to reduce the amount of sugar people eat

  • and drink.

  • One idea is to put higher tax on sugary foods and drinks.

  • Another idea is a legal limit on the amount of sugar in foods for babies and children.

  • Another idea is to stop selling sugary products to young people and children.

  • Sugar is a big part of one of the largest health crises in the world.

  • But sugar is also one of the most important agricultural industries in the world.

  • Many people make money from this industry.

  • They do not want to sell less sugar.

  • This makes dental health a complex global issue.

  • Sugar is only one thing that affects people's dental health.

  • A person's dental health depends on many things.

  • An individual can usually make their own decisions about diet and hygiene, such as tooth brushing.

  • But people cannot always control their economic situation.

  • They cannot always control how much money they have or where they live.

  • They cannot control their access to dental care.

  • The effect of dental decay is much worse in very poor populations.

  • This is true even in wealthy countries.

  • There are many large systems that affect people's teeth.

  • These problems can seem too big to solve.

  • But the World Dental Federation says we can improve people's teeth around the world.

  • In their document, “The Challenge of Oral Diseasethey give ideas of what groups

  • can do to help on different levels.

  • They think that everyone around the world should be able to pay for good ways to prevent

  • tooth problems, such as treatment with fluoride – a mineral that protects teeth.

  • They also think everyone should have health care that will help them pay to see a doctor

  • for their teeth when they need to.

  • The World Dental Federation thinks that caring for our teeth and mouths should be connected

  • to caring for the rest of our bodies.

  • Strong, healthy teeth are important for the health of our whole body and sense of well-being.

  • Most people cannot change the global dental system.

  • But they do have some control over how well they take care of their teeth.

  • And one easy thing everyone can do to take better care of their teeth is reduce how much

  • sugar they eat.

  • Do you eat or drink a lot of sugar?

  • Do you have any teeth problems?

  • You can leave a comment on our website.

  • Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net.

  • You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

  • The writer of this program was Rena Dam.

  • The producer was Michio Ozaki.

  • The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight.

  • You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net.

  • This program is called, “Sugar and Your Teeth.”

  • Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices.

  • We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program.

  • Goodbye.

Welcome to Spotlight Advanced.

Subtitles and keywords

B1 INT US dental teeth sugar tooth health decay

Sugar and Your Teeth | ADVANCED | practice English with Spotlight

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    joearmani   posted on 2020/04/26
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