Easter celebrations and festivities are upon us! But why should you feel bad about a little indulging over the Easter period, after all, that’s what everyone is looking forward to! Here are a few tips to help you remain as healthy as possible by reducing nasty sugar intake, while still enjoying those sweet treats.
#1 Know the Nasties
Easter Treats (chocolate and sugar) – Sugar is a main player in tooth decay. It feeds a certain type of bacteria in your mouth that will overgrow, if you feed them too much! The bacteria then stimulate the release of acid onto your teeth.
Sticky caramel fillings and chewy lollies – These sticky treats are a serious source of tooth decay. They are high in sugar and spend a prolonged amount of time stuck between and on your teeth. The consistency of these treats makes it very difficult for saliva to wash away therefore the resultant build-up of sugar on the teeth leads to an explosion of cavity-causing bacteria.
Sour lollies – The high levels of acid in these treats can quickly break down tooth enamel. Ensure you brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating these lollies otherwise you will be brushing the acid into the tooth surface resulting in more damage.
Refrigerated hard chocolate – It can be quite warm in April in Australia so to prevent chocolate melting away refrigeration is a great option. However, if you eat the chocolate straight from the fridge, biting into these hard eggs and bunnies can lead to traumatized and broken teeth. Allow the eggs to reach room temperature before tempting a broken tooth.
Hard lollies – These types of lollies sit in your mouth for long periods of time. The prolonged contact of sugar with your teeth promotes the increased production of cavity-causing bacteria. It is also best to refrain from biting into hard lollies otherwise a chipped or broken tooth may result.
Unnatural colouring or additives – These additions aren’t real food and really are to make candy look fun and appetizing. The result for your child is that they eat chemicals that are unfamiliar to their little body. Keep to the real stuff!
#2 Reduce other forms of sugar
Here’s the biggest tip. If you’re eating a breakfast with a glass of fruit juice, sugary cereal, or spreads, your day time sugar intake is piling up. Try reducing your sugar intake from non-Easter treat sources, that way you are limiting your overall intake for the weekend and don’t get to miss out on your treats!
#3 Don’t eat treats on an empty stomach
Sugar can interrupt hunger signals that stop your child from feeling full or satisfied. Make sure that they have a hearty meal before having sweet meals such as desserts over this Easter period. This will assist them to be satisfied and prevent sugar driving their feeding response.
#4 Pack water into your kids backpacks so they can hydrate
With all the excitement, kids can forget to take water in. Sugars are far more likely to do damage in a low saliva dry mouth. Make sure your kids have lots of water to keep their saliva flushing their mouths.
#5 Don’t scrub your kid’s teeth directly after sweet treats
Once the chocolate haul has finished, you may be tempted to take your kids straight to the bathroom to brush their teeth. Resist this urge. Cleaning their teeth directly after eating sugary food can damage the enamel which may be soft. Make sure your kids flush their mouth with water after eating chocolate and treats and wait for at least thirty minutes before brushing their teeth.
#6 Fill the Easter bags with treats based on REAL food
Here’s the most important way to keep your kid’s teeth healthy. Instead of refined sugar and additive-based treats you can make sure they eat more wholesome treats based on foods that actually strengthen their teeth. These include:
- Dark chocolate: Low sugar and far better than just a candy bar. With a good dose of fat, instead of sugar, dark chocolate is a teeth friendly snack!
- Nuts and nut butter: Candy or chocolate with nuts are a source of fibre and satisfying fats. Your kid will eat far less and be much more satisfied.
- Coconut and coconut oil: Any treat based on coconut oil is a dentist’s dream. High in belly-filling fat and sweet tasting, it’s the perfect way to replace sugar-laden treats.
- Butter and full-cream: Sweets based with full-fat dairy are again more satisfying and full of bone and teeth growing nutrients.
- For kids Easter baskets – pack with games, colouring books, toys, even a funky toothbrush to promote good oral health!!
- For adults Easter baskets – pack sugar-free lollies, breadsticks, vegetables, fruit and cheese
Call Luminous Dentistry today to book an appointment – 02 4334 1383.