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Every single time we have anything containing sugar, our teeth are under attack for around an hour. Now, imagine giving a child a sugary treat or drink every few hours during the day…their teeth would constantly be under attack!

Avoid giving your child a sugary drink or snack before bedtime. Our saliva flow reduces when we sleep, and teeth will remain under attack for even longer. If your child has had something sugary, give their teeth time to recover and then allow them to brush with a fluoride toothpaste before they go to sleep.

Still water and milk are the best things any of us can have throughout the day and sugary drinks, including fruit juices, should be restricted to mealtimes only. Again, this reduces the number of sugar attacks a child’s teeth will go through each day.

When you’re shopping for food, try and have a closer look at the labels of products you’re about to put in your basket. Many of them contain more sugar than you think and it’s understandable to think that products that claim to have “no added sugar” are sugar-free, but a quick look at the label will allow you to find out!

Generally, a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, fresh fruit, and vegetables will give children the best chance of preventing oral health problems like gum disease later in life. Day to day, you should aim for your children to have three meals and no more than two snacks. This is far better than frequent snacking between meals.

In short, teach your child to brush twice a day, cut down sugary foods and drinks and take them to the dentist regularly. These simple tips will help you and your child develop healthy attitudes about their teeth.

For more helpful tips visit our advice pages.