Ah, Easter. A time for coming together with family, enjoying some beautiful Springtime weather, and yes, eating lots of Easter eggs. For younger children especially, the abundance of chocolate can be a particularly exciting part of Easter’s appeal.
However, it’s worth taking care with sugar intake, as the amount of chocolate available means that it can be easy for consumption to quickly get to harmful levels. The recommended allowance for anyone over 11 years old is around 30 grams per day. The average small Easter egg already has about 50 grams of sugar in it, which puts most people over their daily limit immediately.
Now, we’re not advocating banning Easter eggs by any means – we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love the occasional bit of indulgence just as much as everyone else here at AP Smilecare! And happily, there are a couple of tips and tricks you can use to limit the worst of the sugar damage, while still enjoying a sweet treat or two this weekend. Here are our top three!
One of the biggest challenges on big holidays like Easter and Christmas is that it can be sorely tempting for both children and adults to ‘graze’ on chocolate and sweet treats throughout the day – in other words, eat little and often, rather than big meals. The problem is that this can put your teeth under a bit of strain, because they need time to deal with each influx of sugar, and grazing means that they’re never properly allowed that time to recover.
This is why that age-old bit of dental advice is especially useful here – basically, whenever you’re planning on eating sweets or chocolate, it’s best to eat it at mealtimes whenever possible. This gives you a firm schedule to stick to, and ensures that your teeth get decent enough time to recover in between. It can be a particularly tough idea to sell to children, but trust us, the long-term health benefits are more than worth it!
As we’ve touched upon above, everyone tends to regard Easter eggs as a fairly central part of the celebrations. But there are lots of other activities you can engage in too, and these can serve as useful distractions if certain children are getting a bit impatient about the lack of eggs available! If they’re feeling crafty, you can get them painting eggs instead, and there are lots of clever designs they can try. (Minions are a good fallback for example, and a particular favourite of ours!)
A good old treasure hunt is another great way to keep them engaged, and the treasure itself doesn’t have to be chocolate, either – it can always be some other manner of small gift, especially if there are older children involved. It’s an especially good way to keep them active as well, especially if – like us – you’re not too far away from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
That means it’s best to brush your teeth last thing at night, and on one other occasion – generally in the morning. Fluoride toothpaste is the best option, especially since it’s so widely available.
When it comes to brushing your teeth though, there’s one particularly important thing to bear in mind, and that’s not to eat too soon before bed. Specifically, eating anything less than an hour before bedtime means that even brushing your teeth won’t be able to properly protect your dental health from the effects of that acid and sugar.
We’ve already explained how your teeth need time to properly recover from each ‘sugar attack’, and your salvia is a pretty vital part of that mechanism, as it works to restore the natural pH balances in our mouths. When you go to sleep though, your saliva flow slows down, which leaves your teeth more vulnerable. Just another reason in the long line of reasons why it’s important not to eat too late before bed – especially at Easter!
All that said, from all of us here at AP Smilecare, we wish you a very happy Easter, and hope that you have an eggs-ceptional time!
As well as our array of dentistry treatments, we’re still running virtual assessments for children here at AP Smilecare, so that we can continue to help you look after your children’s dental health. We know it can be easy to let normal commitments slip with everything that’s going on, but dental appointments can help keep you informed about the condition of your children’s teeth, while helping us to spot any developing issues early. If you’ve got any questions, or you’d like to book an appointment, just give us a call on 01254 297 000!
Posted on: 1st Apr, 2021