If you’re looking for ways to reduce your sugar intake, or to introduce healthier habits for your family, then ditching fizzy drinks is a great place to start.

Launched by Southwark Council back in 2018, Fizz Free February has since become a national campaign spearheaded by SUGAR SMART, calling on everyone to avoid fizzy drinks for a month.

According to SUGAR SMART, fizzy drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11-18, and they provide an average of 29% of daily sugar intake.

If you can commit to going fizz free for a whole month, you’re likely to see your cravings subside and you’ll see new habits start to form, making it easier to cut down on fizzy drinks for the rest of the year. Great!

Did you know that cutting down on the fizz is better for the environment too? 43% of soft drink plastic bottles are not recycled after use in the UK. The bottles take 400 years to decompose.

As dentists, we fully support this Fizz Free February campaign. We see the effects of fizzy drinks on teeth every day. Whenever you drink sugary fizzy drinks, bacteria in your mouth will start to break down the debris, releasing harmful plaque acids, which can cause tooth decay.

And there’s more to it than that. Fizzy drinks, including ‘diet’ versions, contain their own acids that can erode the protective enamel on the surface of your teeth. This means that even ‘sugar free’ fizz is attacking your teeth every time you drink it. Once enamel is damaged, it cannot be repaired, and bacteria can enter the tooth, ultimately causing sensitivity, pain and cavities.

The problem lies not only in how often you drink these fizzy drinks, but also what time of day you drink them. If you consume these drinks between your meals, your teeth are under constant acid attack throughout the day.

So what are the alternatives? Water is definitely the best choice of drink, containing no sugar or calories, and it has hugely beneficial effects for your whole body. Milk is also a good choice as it contains calcium, which helps to keep bones, teeth and nails strong.

It’s important to keep up a good oral hygiene routine too. See your dentist and hygienist regularly, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day.

So, can you give up the fizz this February? Your teeth will thank you for it!

For more information about Fizz Free February, click here

SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by Sustain. SUGAR SMART is one of the featured campaigns in the UK’s Sustainable Food Cities network.