Easter is seen by many as a peak opportunity to gorge on one of our favourite snacks – chocolate. From their appearance in the shops in January through to the Easter holidays, we consume millions of chocolate eggs of all sizes, not to mention chocolate bunnies and chicks. Our national appetite for chocolate means that Britain is ranked fourth in the world behind Switzerland, Germany and Austria when it comes to chocolate consumption per capita.
Unfortunately, tooth decay is the number one cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK. It can have a significant impact on children’s general health, development, school readiness, confidence, ability to sleep, eat and socialise. Shockingly, a recent NHS survey revealed that more than a fifth of 12-year-olds experienced difficulty eating as a result of poor dental health in the past three months. More than a third reported being embarrassed to smile or laugh due to the condition of their teeth. At the same time, adults with poor oral health increase their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. So while it’s great to enjoy festive fun, it’s really important to stick to a few simple rules to make sure your teeth and overall health don’t pay the price for overindulgence by sustaining permanent damage.
- Eating some chocolate is fine but avoid ‘grazing’ throughout the day as this means your teeth are constantly under attack from sugar. Stick to mealtimes and give your teeth a chance to recover.
- Easter Day or not, make sure you always brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Don’t be fooled into thinking so-called ‘healthier’ options, like dried fruit, are good for your teeth. Dried fruit, for example, is often promoted as being a healthy option, but it actually contains very high concentrations of sugars. If you are looking for lower sugar alternatives, try fresh fruit, cheese and milk. Chewing sugar free gum can also be helpful for oral hygiene.
- Consider alternatives to chocolate for Easter gifts for adults and children alike.
- Have fun decorating real hen’s eggs or plastic eggs – these are great fun for Easter egg hunts with the kids too.
- Make sure you have regular dental check-ups. Revive Dental Care welcomes new NHS patients to join us at our practices in Monton, Davyhulme, Bexley Square Salford and Ancoats.