STOP EASTER BECOMING CAVITY SEASON FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Discover Ways to Minimise The Impact of Chocolate Easter Egg Eating on Your Children’s Teeth.
During the Easter season, Australians will buy more than a whopping 3000 tonnes of chocolate. This has to equate to a lot more trips to the dentist for fillings following this chocolate blow out.
WHEN TO EAT CHOCOLATE
Allowing your children to snack on their chocolate haul continually over the day will expose their teeth to damaging sugars more often. So it’s a good idea to limit their Easter egg eating to once a day, as a dessert after dinner.
Reserving chocolate eating for meal times also means that more saliva has already been produced during the meal. Saliva contains antibodies which help reduce numbers of cavity-causing bacteria, neutralizes mouth acidity and washes food out of the mouth more quickly.
EASTER EGGS WORSE THAN OTHERS?
Chocolate eggs with gooey fillings or that contain chewy lollies are going to be more damaging to teeth than hollow eggs, as sticky sweets will hang around on teeth for longer, encouraging more bacteria to produce detrimental acids.
White chocolate is worth avoiding as it contains around 12% more sugar than milk chocolate and nearly double than in dark chocolate.
MAKE SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE
This recipe uses a natural sweetener called xylitol which protects teeth and gums by neutralizing damaging acidity in the mouth and preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth.
This chocolate will be more chocolatey as the commercial products but it has more depth of flavor that is worth acquiring.
- ½ cup cocoa or raw cacao
- 4 tbsp cacao butter, normal butter, or coconut oil
- ½ to 1 tbsp xylotol
- Melt cacao butter, butter or coconut oil gently in a pan.
- Turn off heat and stir in cocoa (or cacao).
- Add ½ tbsp. of xylitol, taste and add more if you need to.
- Add any optional extras listed below.
- Pour into mini-muffin cases or a chocolate mould if you have one.
- Place in the fridge to set.
Optional extras: You can add nuts, rose petals, vanilla extract, orange, rose or peppermint oil if you want.
BRUSHING – IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING
Sugary foods can be very acidic in the mouth. Acidity temporarily softens tooth enamel. So, while it seems counterintuitive, it’s not a good idea to brush teeth straight after eating chocolate or other sweets.
You can either wait an hour or so, or you can get the kids to eat something that will neutralize the acid, such as a glass of milk or piece of cheese, as these contain alkalising calcium.
Consult our dentists in Parramatta dental clinic for specific guidance on teeth brushing in children.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Cavities and other dental health problems can be prevented or, at least stopped in their tracks, through regular trips to the dentist for check-ups. This is especially important for children as they need to be set up for life with a healthy set of teeth.
Call Dental Parramatta for a check-up and clean.
AVOID THE PROBLEM ALTOGETHER
Children don’t necessarily have to receive a bulk load of chocolate at Easter. If the incentive is good enough, i.e the promise of a nice non-chocolate present, they will be quite happy without and won’t feel at all deprived.
Since the average Australian spends around $60 on Easter chocolate, you might even find you have saved money as an added bonus.
If the kids are still keen to have chocolate, you can limit their intake by staging an Easter egg hunt with some small eggs instead.