HEALTH: Keeping kids' teeth 
during holiday season

28 November 2018

Christmas is party season, and that often means sugary treats. 
Imola Foster from the Gold Coast Dental and Denture Centre shares her tips on 
keeping kids’ teeth strong, healthy and cavity free during the festive season.

Christmas is fast approaching which means social gatherings, parties and end of year festivities. Though they are a lot of fun, more often than not, sugary foods such as cookies, cakes and soft drinks will be on the menu.

Though you can limit how much your child indulges their sweet tooth at home, they will have plenty of access to sugary foods and drinks outside the home during this time, which is much harder to control.

Despite the abundance of sugary foods and drinks available, it is important to be vigilant to keep our kids’ teeth clean and healthy and prevent tooth decay.

We also need to watch how much our children consume as well as how often they have these ‘treats’. Grazing and constantly eating is not great as the saliva doesn’t get 
a chance to wash over the teeth. Saliva is the body’s natural defense against dental cavities and reduces the effect of the acid produced by the plaque bacteria.

Most importantly, the holiday season should not be any different from any 
other time for keeping our children’s oral 
health on track.

  • Look for products in supermarkets that are added sugar free, preservative and artificial colour free.
  • When possible, feed your children healthy foods before attending a party 
so they won’t fill up on sugary foods.
  • Make your own healthier options for 
snacks and frozen treats. There are lots 
of fast and easy recipes online.
  • Offer children harder foods such as carrot sticks and celery sticks so good chewing is developed. Team these up with some homemade dips such as guacamole or hummus and it’s a delicious treat!
  • Where possible, children under the age of two should not consume any foods with added sugars, than can hide in yoghurt, food purees, ice blocks and biscuits.
  • Plain water and plain milk should 
be the preferred choice of drink.
  • Young children should only have maximum of four teaspoons of sugar 
per day and this should come from whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Children up to the age of eight should be guided and helped with brushing 
and flossing their teeth morning and night, as they are still not proficient enough alone.

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
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