Easter is just around the corner – it’s that time of the year again, when chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies are on display in every supermarket across Ireland, we're already licking our lips but it is important that we don't forget about our oral health.
Some Easter eggs contain large amounts of sugar which can be very harmful to our teeth and especially children’s teeth as the enamel on children teeth is much thinner than that on adult’s teeth, hence more susceptible to tooth decay / cavities.
The recommended daily allowance of added sugar a day, for children aged 4 to 6 years old should be no more than 19 grams a day, while children aged 7 to 10 years old should have no more than 24 grams.
A standard-sized Creme Egg alone contains 26.5 grams of sugar, an extra-large Yorkie chocolate egg contains 124 grams of sugar that’s a staggering (31 teaspoons).
Children often end up with a stash of several Easter eggs of various sizes: in Ireland, 23% of children will get between 6 and 10 eggs, while 12% will take proud delivery of 10 to 15 eggs. Letting a child eat such a large amount of sugary products in one or few days is a constant attack of sugar on their teeth. It’s not how much sugar we eat but how often we eat it and our oral hygiene regime that affects the general health of our teeth.
Here are a few tips when choosing those Easter eggs:
Consider dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is often a better choice as it can contain less sugar than other chocolate options. For the least added sugar, choose dark chocolate (70% cocoa) which has the added health bonus of antioxidants
Try not to go for the biggest egg you can possibly find and try not to get an egg that comes with an additional array of treats. Stick to a smaller-sized eggs.
Toffees and hard sweets are out in full force at Easter and they can pull out fillings as well as getting stuck between your teeth so aren’t ideal Easter treats!
Reduce the frequency
Limiting the time sugar is on your teeth is the most effective control.
Eating some Easter egg straight after a meal is much better than snacking on chocolate between mealtimes. So the old advice of ‘don’t eat it all at once’ is incorrect eating the sweet treat all at once is actually much better for teeth.
Snack on foods such as cheese, celery, carrot or apple after chocolate this stimulates the production of saliva which is beneficial for teeth and will help to neutralise the acids that cause tooth decay. Sugar Free gum is also good for this.
Offer alternative distractions
Children love activities like decorating polystyrene eggs and Easter bonnets.
Going for a walk to count Easter bunnies is popular with younger children and treasure hunts with small gifts rather than chocolate eggs are always a hit. This
Wash it down well
Drink plenty of water if indulging on Easter treats, instead of ﬁzzy drinks and sugary juices, as they are very acidic and is one of the prime causes of tooth erosion.
Water will help to wash away the sugars that create acids and cause decay.
Don’t skip routine
Be sure to brush your teeth correctly for the recommended2 minutes twice a day .
Waiting at least 30 minutes after you eat before brushing your teeth as some foods contain acids which weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Brush, Floss and use mouthwash and encourage your children to do the same. (A fun range of kids oral health products can be found at www.smileyeileey.ie)
We all enjoy a treat every now and then. I hope these tips will keep damage to the minimum, just remember to read the chocolate products’ labels, indulge in moderation and limit your kids’ chocolate intake not just over Easter but on a regular basis. Instilling good oral health habits early in life will benefit your children.
Visit www.smileyeileey.ie for more tips like this, a range of teething products and fun oral health products for children .If you would like to book an oral health workshop with for your preschool or National School visit www.smileyeileey.ie or call 0871325541
The best of the eggs spotted
Dark Chocolate Bunnies:
Dark Chocolate Eggs:
Lindt Dark Excellence Egg, 70% cocoa (110g) = 7.5 teaspoons of added sugar
Moser Roth (Aldi) Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs (150g) = 10 teaspoons of added sugar per pack
How many teaspoons of sugar !!
Cadbury Creme Eggs bag (234g)
Cadbury mini eggs (125g)
Humpty Dumpty egg (165g)
Red Tulip Classic Chocolate Elegant Rabbit (200g)
Red Tulip Classic Chocolate Elegant Rabbit (110g)
Aldi Dairy Fine Giant Milk Chocolate Bunny (400g)
Aldi Dairy Fine Milk Chocolate Egg Crate (255g)
Aldi Dairy Fine Milk Chocolate Bunny (125g)
Coles easter hunt bag (300g)
Crunchy Bumper Bunny (170g)
M&M’s speckled eggs (190g)
Malteser eggs (125g)
Cadbury milk chocolate eggs (250g)
Cadbury Dairy Milk Bunny (250g)
Cadbury Dairy Milk Bunny (150g)
Cadbury Dairy Milk Bunny (80g)
Lindt Bunny Gold Milk (200g)
Lindt Bunny Gold Milk (100g)
Lindt White Chocolate Gold Bunny (100g)
Kinder Surprise Giant Bunny (160g)
Aldi Choceur Milk Chocolate Bunny (100g)
Aldi Moser Roth Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs (150g)
Ferrero Rocher Cocoa Eggs (100g)
Ferrero Rocher Bunny (100g)
Aldi Choceur Dark Chocolate Bunny (100g)
Lindt Dark Chocolate Gold Bunny (200g)
Lindt Dark Chocolate Gold Bunny (100g)
Lindt Dark Excellence 70% cocoa egg (110g)
Aldi Moser Roth Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs (150g)