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A guide to keeping your teeth healthy over the Easter period

Easter has always been a time to celebrate with family and friends. Originally involving the trading of eggs painted in bright colours, this tradition has evolved into a chance to indulge, if not over-indulge, in the consumption of less-than-healthy food – namely the chocolate Easter egg.

While it’s an exciting time for children with Easter egg hunts and their sugary prizes, what are the risks to young teeth? Could the onslaught of excessive amounts of sugar pose a real threat to decay starting?

As children naturally prefer sweet food, the challenge for parents and grandparents is to balance their diet by giving them the food they love while looking out for their teeth and gums.

Children can still enjoy the abundance of Easter confectionary without running undue risk of damaging their smiles. The trick is to encourage them to eat sweets at the end of a meal, rather than constantly nibbling throughout the day:

Contrary to popular belief, frequent eating of sugary food and drinks is far worse for teeth than the volume that children actually eat. After eating sugar, teeth are under acid attack for up to an hour, so if the frequency of sugar consumption is reduced throughout the day, the chances of decay starting are reduced.

This is really important over Easter when children eat more sugary foods than normal, and the same principle applies any day of the year.

The Easter holidays are also a good time to check that children really are being diligent with tooth brushing. Teeth should be brushed thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a period of two minutes, which can seem like a long time to them.

An egg-timer in the bathroom can help to ensure that sufficient time is spent to really clean teeth thoroughly – special novelty tooth timers are available in some chemists.

So, with a little thought, children can still enjoy all that Easter brings. A few sensible steps can greatly reduce the potential for damage to children’s teeth from greatly increased consumption of chocolate at this time of year.

Top Tooth Tips For Easter

Put sweets and chocolates in a special box or tin and allow children to choose some to eat at the end of a meal.

Supervise children’s brushing up until around the age of seven years

Ensure children brush with a fluoride containing toothpaste for 2 minutes, twice daily

Avoid sugary snacks and drinks between meals

Ensure children visit a dentist regularly for check-ups

* extract courtesy of Denplan

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