Dental Health Week 2014: Toddlers and Snacking
Aside from raising awareness on the sugar bandits in Aussie households, the Australian Dental Association’s Dental Health Week 2014 is also focusing on the oral health of babies and toddlers.
Perhaps the best time to teach kids good eating habits is while they are young. However, it is no news that babies, toddlers and preschoolers are sometimes not very fond of eating nutritious foods. In fact, they are often more inclined to consume sugary foods.
Allowing very young kids to regularly consume sugary foods exposes them to the risk of early childhood caries—an oral health problem plaguing 50% of Aussie children.
Definitely not a good way to start your toddler’s oral health journey!
Below are some quick tips on how to stop tooth decay before it wrecks havoc on your child’s mouth:
- Avoid sticky or chewy treats
- Fruits are good to eat, but they still contain sugars, so make sure to limit fruit to 2 servings per day
- Give your kids water with every meal to wash away food debris and to dilute any sugars and acids that remain near the teeth after eating
- Read the label—if sugar is in the top 3 ingredients, it is definitely a warning sign that it’s a high-sugar food
- Do not let your child get into the habit of grazing—or eating a variety of snacks as full meal. Set snack times and stick to a routine for meals.
Remember that baby teeth or primary teeth are important: they not only enable very young kids to chew and speak but they also save space for the arrival of your child’s permanent teeth.
Check out this downloadable resource from the ADA—something you can stick to your fridge door as a reminder!