Thanks to Sue Cartwright, Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager for this great advice on keeping kids teeth health during the christmas onslaught:
- “During the Christmas months, the idea of limiting sugary foods and drinks to “treats” for kids, becomes more challenging for parents. Across the seasonal period, Australian children are often given the opportunity to eat foods with high-sugar content throughout the day, on a daily basis.”
Not only can this heightened sugar intake prompt weight gain and increase mood swings for children, it can also cause lasting damage to their oral health. While Colgate acknowledges many parents’ disdain at becoming a Christmas Grinch, Dr Cartwright outlines 5 top tips for parents to protect their children’s oral health throughout the holiday period.
1. Be extra vigilant with brushing habits – Reminding the kids that ‘Santa is watching’ can be a great way to ensure their morning and night brushing continues through the excitement of the holidays.
2. Time treats to be followed by brushing – If the kids are allowed a sweet in the morning, their advent-calendar chocolate for example, ensure this occurs before they brush, to avoid sugar sitting around the teeth for an extended period.
3. Include Oral Care in the festivities – With a fantastic range of children’s Oral Care products now on the market, character-themed toothbrushes and toothpaste are great stocking fillers and will make the daily tasks of brushing fun!
4. Kill the Christmas hangover – When children receive sweets as Christmas gifts, it’s easy for them to fall into a grazing habit, consuming the treats in small amounts, more frequently, long after the decorations have been packed away. When January hits, collect all the Christmas sweets and allocate them to a lolly jar, which can once again be regulated by parents.
5. Restore balance to the sugar overload – Replacing the usual treats with low-sugar options can allow kids to indulge in Christmas goodies without the sugar overload. Instead of processed or packaged foods for recess or afternoon-tea, try vegetable snacks such as carrot and celery sticks.