How to enjoy a healthy and happy Easter

easter dental health

How to enjoy a healthy and happy Easter

March 10, 2020 5:16 am Published by

Easter is here – and whether you’re celebrating or not, it’s a sure bet there will be candy, chocolate, and other sweet things making their way into most houses! It’s very tempting to indulge at this time of year, especially when Dubai has a vast array of treats available. However, it’s much better for dental health if you try and keep the sugar to a minimum. Here are our tips for a healthier Easter time this year.

  • Why are sweet things bad for me?

Sugar is bad news for teeth because it feeds bacteria in the mouth, which produces acid. This acid then attacks enamel on the tooth surface. The more bacteria there are – the more acid that is produced. Enamel is there to protect teeth from everyday damage, but over time repeated attacks can weaken it and create holes known as cavities. If not spotted and filled by a dentist, the damage can spread to the inside of the tooth – causing bigger problems. So, it’s best to keep a check on sugar intake, both for grown-ups and for children.

  • Gift giving

The most common gift at Easter is probably chocolate eggs. Big or small, these gifts are all united in their high sugar content! If you’re gifting to adults, it’s sensible to choose dark chocolate as this is lower in sugar and contains more of the ‘good stuff’, cocoa, that contains health-giving minerals and antioxidants. Opt for at least 70% cocoa solids for maximum health benefits. Dark chocolate can be a bit too bitter for most kids’ tastes, so you might need a change in strategy here.

  • The best – and the worst choices for kids

Homemade sweets and baked goods are often healthier than those bought in stores. Failing that, choose candy containing nuts, which gives a little extra cleaning power for tooth surfaces. Don’t buy chewing candy as this sticks to teeth, prolonging contact between sugar with tooth enamel and making that acid damage even worse. Avoid dried fruit – often thought to be a healthier option, it’s sticky and has a high sugar content. Pieces of dried fruit stick straight to teeth just like chewy sweets do! Here’s an idea for a fun activity with your kids – instead of an Easter egg hunt with chocolate eggs, try boiling real eggs then letting kids decorate them. This is a rewarding activity that doesn’t involve any sugar at all.

  • Managing the situation

Make sure you drink water to rinse out sugar and help neutralize acid. This helps remove sticky candy stuck on teeth also. Eat sweet things in one go, don’t spread it out through the day. This way, the sugar has less time in contact with teeth. Brush teeth twice a day, but not straight after eating candy. This is because acid softens the surface enamel, so if you brush straight away – you’re actually brushing your enamel straight off. Have a glass of water then wait maybe half an hour. Make sure children avoid other dental no-no’s like fizzy drinks. These also damage teeth – not only that, but sugary drinks combined with a chocolate sugar rush can result in one hyperactive child! You could also try encouraging older children to chew sugarfree gum. This stimulates saliva production, neutralizing acid and rinsing remnants of food and sugary treats out of the mouth.

  • The importance of a good dental routine

One or two indulgences aren’t going to have too much of a negative effect on teeth, so long as you are managing dental health during the rest of the year. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure children have a child-sized brush so all teeth surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, and supervise their cleaning until they’re 6 or 7 years old. Avoid sugar as much as possible, and stick to whole grains and lots of fruit and vegetables in everyone’s diet. Book dental check-ups every six months so the dentist can spot any problems and help advise on diet and dental routines.

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