Easter is on its way and that means your kids are likely expecting to be allowed to bite into as much chocolate as they please. This time of year presents a particularly difficult challenge in managing children's sugar intake. You want your kids to feel included and enjoy the sweet-filled holiday, but is it possible to do so without putting their oral health at risk?
We say it is. Before the Easter Bunny shows up, check out our tips for looking after your kids' teeth over the long weekend.
Keep eating treats to a set time
When it comes to sugar and teeth, volume of sugar is less important than prolonged exposure. If your child is snacking on chocolate all throughout the day, there's a longer period in which sugar sits in the mouth and converts to tooth-decaying acids.
Let your kid eat chocolates only during a set period and ask them to clean their teeth afterwards to wash away excess sugar. Meals are a great time to allow chocolate, as they already fit into a clearly defined routine.
Establish clear rules
With so many sweets around, your child will likely pester you for chocolate whenever they feel like it (which might be all the time!). Beyond limiting chocolate consumption, you need to communicate clearly that sweets are for special occasions only. This way, you save yourself some pressure and your child may be less likely to take matters, or chocolate, into their own hands.
Soften the impact of chocolate by providing healthy options alongside it.
Accompany chocolate with healthy snacks
With your child's friends over it might seem hard to deny them sweets. You can soften the impact of chocolate by providing healthy options alongside it. Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery can act as an abrasive, removing surface bacteria from the teeth. They can also stimulate saliva production, aiding in the mouth's natural washing-away of sugar.
Avoid the worst sweets
Not all treats are made equal. In fact, chewy or sticky sweets such as toffee and caramel-filled eggs could be worse for your child's teeth than plain chocolate. That's because the thick, sticky candy can adhere to the ridges of your kid's teeth and isn't easily washed away. Stuck to the teeth, the sugar has more time to convert to acids.
Follow the holiday with a check-up
For some kids, a slight oral health setback might be inevitable over Easter – but that can be easily combated with a quick check-up at your local dentist. To book an appointment for your child give City Dentists a call on 04 978 4964 or click here to book a routine check-up.