Easter weekend is a chance to relax and enjoy a long weekend with your family and friends, not to mention receiving a few treats from the Easter Bunny. One thing that gets pushed to the sidelines at this time of year is our children’s dental health.
While we want our families to enjoy Easter and all the chocolaty goodness that comes with the holiday, we don’t want their dental health to be compromised. This is why we have written down a few pointers that will ensure that your family can celebrate Easter without having to worry about their teeth.
Avoid Flavoured Drinks and Drink Fruit Juice in Moderation
Each time you or your children eat a chocolate egg or other sugar-laden treat, wash it down with a glass of water. This rinses and lifts sugar away from between the teeth, gum line and surface of the teeth. Although this isn’t as effective as brushing or flossing, it will still help reduce tooth decay throughout the day.
This weekend will be full of sweet stuff so it is best to avoid any sugary drinks, including fruit flavoured drinks. Even fruit juice, a healthier option, should be limited to one small class each day with a meal. Water is your best bet; it does not add to the amount of sugars that your family are already consuming.
Educate Through Gift-Giving
All parents what their children to enjoy Easter to the fullest without restricting the experience. However, we understand that parents can be concerned about their children’s dental health during this period. Easter is a great opportunity to educate your children on the importance of oral health and how to take care of their teeth.
One way of doing this is by accompanying the chocolate egg gift with a fun toothbrush featuring your child’s favourite cartoon character on the handle. That way your child can enjoy a traditional Easter gift, as well as being reminded of the importance of oral hygiene.
Set a Treat Time
Tooth decay happens when acid-producing bacteria combine with the food on your teeth. The longer that food remains on your teeth, the longer bacteria has to produce the acid which causes tooth decay. This is why snacking on chocolate throughout the day is so bad for your teeth — the bacteria has all day to produce damaging acids.
Instead, designate a treat time, such as after the evening meal, when your children can enjoy their chocolates. By rinsing their teeth with water then brushing their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste thirty minutes after treat time, you will greatly minimise their risk of tooth decay.
Eating treats after meals is also better for your teeth because there is already more saliva in the mouth. Saliva fights against germs in the mouth and even contains proteins and minerals that protect against tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel!
More tips to protect your children’s dental health:
Are you damaging your child’s teeth with one of these common parenting habits?
Tooth Brushing Made Fun
The Perfect Oral Hygiene Routine For Your Child
About The Author
Dr Chig Amin is the owner and principal dentist of the Epsom Dental Centre. Dr Amin understands the importance of oral health to families and regularly publishes advice articles on how best to look after children’s teeth. You can stay informed on family oral health issues by ‘liking’ Epsom Dental’s Facebook page.