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Healthy Teeth Tips for Easter Weekend

Apr 18, 2014

By Dean George

This weekend the Easter Bunny will be hopping to and fro on his appointed rounds, hiding chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks and enough sugared jelly beans to give Willy Wonka a sugar rush.

Limit sugary foods to mealtimes

It’s no secret that Americans love their sweets, and Easter is one of the leading holidays for parents to eggspress affection to their kids with chocolate, caramel and sugary goodness. The National Retail Federation reports that Americans will crack open their wallets to the eggstraordinary figure of $2 billion on Easter treats this year, or $20.35 per person. This is up 11 percent from 2013.

But America doesn’t have a monopoly on its affection for Easter candy. Approximately 80 million chocolate eggs are sold every year in the UK – an eggceptional amount.

That’s why Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, encourages both children and parents to take a moderate and balanced approach in all the Easter eggcitement.

“Of course we want children to enjoy themselves at Easter. The trick is to find a middle ground,” he said. “It is fine for children to have the odd sugary treat on a special occasion as long as they keep up their regular dental health routine.”

A recent poll taken by Dr. Carter’s dental foundation revealed that 37 percent of Brits expect to eat their Easter eggs in one sitting. Nearly one in four (23 percent) said they planned to snack on their Easter eggs across several days.  Which does he recommend?

“It is better for children to eat sugary foods all together, rather than to spread eating them out over a few hours,” he said. “Every time we eat or drink anything sugary, teeth are under attack for up to one hour. If sweets are constantly being eaten, the mouth is constantly under attack and does not get the chance to recover,” he eggsplained.

“The key thing for parents to remember is it is how often sugar is consumed, rather than how much sugar, which heightens the risk of tooth decay.”

One in four people surveyed said they hoped to reduce the impact of eating the Easter eggs by enjoying them with their regular meals, a strategy Dr. Carter supports. “Practical solutions such as keeping sweets and sugary snacks to mealtimes only through the week and supervising their brushing before they go to bed are good ways to ensure your child’s oral health will not suffer,” he said.

What else can parents on both sides of the Atlantic do to protect their kids’ teeth? Delta Dental of New Jersey has these suggestions:

  • Have the Easter bunny bring kids candy and gum with xylitol. Xylitol could actually reduce kids’ chance of getting a cavity
  • Give kids a book instead of candy
  • Put scented coloring books and crayons in their Easter basket
  • Give them inexpensive toys or jewelry rather than candy
  • Money may not buy happiness, but it’s easier to insert in a piggybank or spend at the store for something a child wants

Whatever you put in their Easter basket, encourage your kids to brush twice daily, floss regularly and explain to them the importance of regular dental visits. To see family dental plans available in your area, click here.

Source:, Delta Dental of NJ, Huffington Post

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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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