Easter is nearly here, and the holidays are a fantastic time to enjoy days out, time with friends and family, and most importantly, to enjoy the odd Easter egg.
The problem is, that this time of the year can be incredibly tricky when it comes to oral health. One or two Easter eggs over a couple of weeks isn’t going to do any long term damage, but it isn’t always that easy to keep Easter treats limited.
As well as Easter eggs there are Easter themed buffets, sweeties, cakes and other food and drinks that when consumed regularly, can cause problems. Children are particularly at risk of dental damage from this time of year, predominantly from the fact that bad habits can form, paving the way for future mouth issues.
With that in mind, Kent Smile Studio want to help you enjoy your Easter with a healthy and happy smile at the end of it, and all year round. Take a look at these 15 need-to-know tips to help you keep your families smiles healthy and happy this Easter!
1. Consume Treats At Mealtimes
Whether it is a beautiful Easter cake, a thick chocolate egg or a small piece of confectionery as a prize for best Easter bonnet, it isn’t necessarily the bulk of sugary products consumed that is the issue, but how often they are eaten. The teeth are attacked for up to an hour after eating so if you can limit the consumption of Easter treats to mealtimes it will be much better than eating one piece of egg, then another in an hour, and so on, prolonging the tooth exposure to sugars and acids.
2. Avoid Purchasing Fondants And Sweeties
If you can, buy eggs and other Easter treats that do not have any toffees, fondants or other sticky elements in them. Those kinds of treats stick to the teeth, prolonging the acid and sugar attack on the teeth.
3. Make Easter About More Than Just The Eggs
Easter is very exciting because of the chocolate, but there is so much more to be excited about. That means there is a lot for your children to look forward to that doesn’t involve Easter eggs, which can mean a healthier focus. So days out, Easter egg hunts which involve non-chocolate prizes, Easter bonnet competitions and other non-food based events will be a really good distraction from the focus on how many eggs they get on the big day.
4. Limit The Sugary Free-For-All To One Day
If you can, consider the ‘eat as much chocolate as you like’ rule to Easter Sunday only. Every family is different but some families do choose to relax the treat rules over Easter. What works for each family is an individual choice but limiting the relaxing of treat rules to just one day can help limit the overall effects of continual chocolate consumption.
5. Have You Tried Sugar-Free?
There are some really good sugar-free eggs available on the market now, and it might be work trying a few mixed in with normal eggs to see if the kids like them. If they do, those kinds of eggs will be a lot better for their teeth than standard eggs, but do read the details on the box as some have sweeteners that can act as natural laxatives when consumed in excess.
6. Ask Relatives To Limit Their Gifts
Relatives often want to get the children gifts at Easter, but that can mean the children get bags and bags of chocolate that last for months. Why not gently ask relatives to perhaps mix their gifts with some chocolate and some vouchers, soft toys or other treats? There are plenty of alternatives around and as long as you ask nicely, most people won’t mind adjusting their purchases to help the children maintain a healthier smile.
7. Consume Eggs No Later Than One Hour Before Bed
Try to ensure that you don’t eat any chocolate or sweet things at least an hour before bed. Not least because the sugar will make it difficult for them to sleep, but also because that gives an hour for saliva to rinse the chocolate away so when they brush they can totally remove any chocolate residue.
8. Follow The Chocolate With Water To Rinse Away The Sugar
Encourage your children to drink lots of water day to day for optimum health, but especially at Easter to help rinse away the chocolate residue. Drinking water also stimulates saliva production which helps to get rid of chocolate residue even faster.
9. Opt For Teeth-Cleaning Snacks
Eating celery, apples and carrots, and other crunchy healthy snacks will help to naturally clean the teeth and stimulate saliva production. Balancing chocolate consumption with healthy snacks is a really good idea for overall balance.
10. Keep Your Oral Hygiene Regime In Great Shape
It is so important to maintain good oral hygiene day to day, to ensure your teeth are strong for times they might be challenged, such as Easter. It also helps to keep them as healthy as possible throughout Easter, although it is important to mention that a very bad diet will always outweigh even the best oral hygiene regimes. Your Kent Smile dentist and hygienist can give you direct advice about the best way to take care of your teeth day to day.
11. Don’t Be Tempted To Brush Your Teeth Straight After Consuming Chocolate
Although you might think brushing chocolate away straight after you have eaten it will limit the damage on your teeth, it can actually spread the damage. The acid produced when you eat chocolate will be moved around and spread around rather than removed, whereas if you wait about an hour, saliva has neutralised the acids and brushing will help. Your teeth also soften very slightly after eating and then harden again, so please also take this into account when brushing.
12. Have You Considered Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a really great choice when it comes to Easter eggs because it has a lower sugar content and a higher cocoa content. It won’t be healthy, as such, but it will be a better option than milk or white eggs.
13. Try Not To Drag Easter On For Months
Because so many eggs are gifted and bought during Easter, we can be left with chocolate in the cupboard for months afterwards, dragging the dental damage on. Instead try gifting the eggs, or make sure they are rationed at mealtimes only as a special treat. There’s no rush to eat all the eggs and your children will soon forget about the stock of them in the cupboard if you hide them out of their reach.
14. Keep An Eye On The Sweet Treats Your Children Are Consuming
One of the biggest problems with controlling how much sugar your children are consuming at Easter is that they will be offered or gifted so much when you aren’t around. Gifts, prizes, buffets and trips out will likely all involve Easter treats. If you can try to let them know to only eat a small piece as a treat and otherwise keep hold of anything big to bring home, they will hopefully know not to eat too much, although it can be tempting for them. At the very least try to find out what they have consumed so if they have already had chocolate and treats during the day, you don’t also offer them more for dessert at home.
15. Get Outdoors
As well as the negative effects on your teeth, Easter can be problematic in terms of calorie intake, so it could be a really good idea to go and get some fresh air and go for a walk as a family. It will be nice to get out of the house after plenty of gorging on chocolate and watching Easter films, and may offset some of the calories you have taken in during the Easter holidays too!
If you would like to speak to your dentist about oral health advice over Easter, or for support with your smile all year round, please get in touch. Our dentists and team are here to support the oral health of the whole family, for happy smiles month on month. Please get in touch with Kent Smile Studio on 01634 683 123 or 01622 754 662 to book an appointment or to register with our clinic. Happy Easter!Back to Blog
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