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With the summer school holidays approaching it’s time to consider keeping children away from sugary treats!

The school holidays often pose a problem for parents trying to keep snacks and foods high in hidden fats and sugars to a minimum! It may make their tummies happy, but it can have the opposite effect on teeth.

You don’t have to deny your children chocolate treats; however, there are ways we can help to limit the damage to our teeth:

Chocolate – If you’re going to snack on a chocolate bar eat it all in one go. It’s much better for your teeth to have a short acid attack on your teeth rather than one that lasts all day. Better still….. eat it straight after a meal.

Drinks – Full-sugar coke, orange juice and other acidic drinks can cause dental erosion. When drinking these try to leave at least one hour before you brush your teeth, as brushing immediately afterwards can increase the risk of dental erosion. Drinking through a straw will also help!

Snacking – If you’re snacking, chew on sugar free gum to help stimulate your saliva flow which will dilute the acid in your mouth.

The best choices for a healthy mouth are foods that include Calcium, Vitamin C and D, Protein and bacteria fighters like celery, apples, pears and carrots, which generate more saliva from chewing and kill the bad bacteria in the mouth.

Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, and cheese – these protect your mouth against tooth decay.

Vitamin C-rich foods include red peppers and oranges – and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin D-packed foods like hard boiled eggs and tuna fish aid the absorption of calcium and protein, two key ingredients needed to make strong teeth.

For protein, try wholewheat bread packed with protein-rich foods such as, chicken, ham or turkey to help teeth build enamel.

….and of course steer clear of sugary drinks and foods.

You can find more tips on healthy eating and helping your child look after their teeth in our resources section.

Teeth Team is a school-based supervised tooth-brushing programme, incorporating clinical dental assessments, applications of fluoride varnish and the subsequent signposting for accessing primary and secondary dental care. It is a collaborative working partnership between local dental practices, government, schools, and parents in an effort to improve the dental health of children predominantly across Hull, East Riding, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and Nottingham.