Along with all the joys that come with the long six weeks’ holiday, it’s important to make sure that along with treating your child and rewarding them for all their hard work during the last year, you also make sure that certain routines don’t go out of the window. In particular, making sure children continue to eat healthily and brush their teeth regularly.
Every time we eat or drink something sugary, our teeth come under attack, as the sugar reacts with the bacteria in the mouth, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay. The oral health educators at 543 Dental Centre say that these “sugar attacks” should be limited to four times a day – breakfast, lunch, tea and a healthy snack.
With younger children it’s important to make sure that there’s a good balance of healthy food and fun treats. This can seem like a real challenge when the easiest option is to grab some crisps or sweets from the cupboard. However, there are loads of easy swaps you can use which still make for a fun snack. Here are some ideas:
- Swap crisps for breadsticks or rice cakes
- Swap chocolatey cereals for cereals that are low in sugar.
- Swap a biscuit for a piece of fruit or carrot sticks.
We don’t want to take all the fun out of the holidays so it’s important to do things in moderation, so try and limit sugary treats to once or twice a week. Just make sure these are eaten with a meal to keep them within one of the four sugar attacks for the day.
As the weather hots up it’s important to stay hydrated, and it’s even more important to stay hydrated with the right kinds of fluids. Water and milk are by far the best things to drink, and you can have these at any time, just remember to only take water to bed. While juice and fizzy drinks are treats, which we all love every now and then, they’re packed full of sugar. In fact, one can of coca cola has the same amount of sugar as a child’s daily allowance. So, make sure to avoid fizzy drinks as much as possible and make sure that if you’re drinking something with a high sugar content, have it with a meal so it counts as one of your four sugar attacks.
It’s also important, that without the routine of school nights, your children maintain a regular brushing routine. Brushing should be carried out for two minutes, twice daily, once in the morning and once immediately before bed. Try and supervise brushing until children are around six years old.
It’s important to start healthy oral care from an early age. For more advice on how to best take care of your teeth, not just during the holidays, but all year round, head to our website and watch our short videos featuring our oral health educator, Becky.