The workplace ‘cake culture’ debate – how much harm are sweet treats actually doing to our teeth?
Surprisingly, a story about cake recently made the headlines in all the major titles, but not for the reasons you might think. Professional dentists from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) are concerned that the workplace is now the main place where we eat sugary treats, which in effect could be putting our oral health at risk. Known as office ‘cake culture’, employees are often celebrating birthdays and other occasions with cakes, sweets and biscuits, dramatically increasing sugar intake on a daily basis.
According to the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS), nearly 64,000 over-18s were admitted to hospital as a result of tooth decay in 2015-16, fuelling the campaign to change the workplace culture in regards to sweet treats. Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the FDS, advocates the promotion of healthy eating in the office which he believes will, “help workers avoid caving in to sweet temptation”.
Tooth decay is becoming a problem for both adults and children, with dental professionals claiming that more needs to be done to tackle the problem. Ways that have been suggested to improve the workplace ‘cake culture’ is to promote healthy snacking instead. This includes swapping our sugary and unhealthy foods for fruit, nuts and low-sugar drinks. If sugary snacks are to be consumed, doing so only at lunchtime will reduce the effect constant snacking currently has on our tooth enamel.
Chris Dean from the Dental Law Partnership commented: “It’s very common for offices and workplaces to celebrate a birthday with sugary treats, but it’s also important to take a step back and consider how much sugar we may be consuming on a daily basis. Dentists recommend keeping the number of sugar hits per day as low as possible a day, so it’s essential to bear this in mind during office hours.”
Should the office cake culture lead you to experience tooth decay it is important to get it treated by your dentist, and ensure regular check-ups occur in order to maintain your dental health; however in some cases, tooth decay can go unnoticed by negligent dentists, leading to further issues down the line. If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation – get in touch using our online claim form.