Thirsty? Young Aussies are sipping themselves towards horror smiles

22 January 2019

A new hard-hitting campaign by the Rethink Sugary Drink initiative, of which the ADA is a part, will use graphic images to highlight the damage done to teeth by regular sugary drink consumption. 

Launching today, the Thirsty advertisement, which mocks the way sugary drinks ads sell their products using a mix of image, vanity and desire, shows a succession of young guys looking like a million bucks until they open their mouths, revealing grotesquely-rotten smiles. 

It is hoped that this shocking disconnect between image and reality will prompt young Aussies to realise sugary drinks are not worth losing their teeth over, or endangering their general health says Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria. 

“We know young Australians are hooked on sugary drinks. Males aged 12-24 are the biggest consumers of sugary drinks, with some consuming as much as 1.5 litres of soft drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks a day. 

“These drinks don’t just ruin your smile. In the long run the high levels of sugar they contain can also lead to unhealthy weight gain, which increases the risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer.” 

As A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch observes, the way forward to healthier teeth and bodies for young adults (and the population in general) who are currently consuming far too much sugar, according to Australia’s Oral Health Tracker, is a simple and cost-free one. 

“If Australians can simply cut back on sugary drinks or remove them entirely from their diet, their teeth will be much stronger and healthier for it. 

“We recommend taking a look at how much sugar is in these drinks, people may be shocked to know some have as many as 16 teaspoons of sugar. Water is always the best choice and your teeth will thank you in the long run.”

For more information on the campaign, visit the Thirsty homepage.