This week August 4-10 is Dental Health Week and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) wants all parents and children to ask each other : “Who is the Sugar Bandit in our family?”
Often Grandparents, parents, and friends will reward good behaviour, offer a special treat, comfort or even bribe children with sugary treats. It’s ok we’ve all done it! Unfortunately, children who consume high sugary foods and drinks on a regular basis are at greater risk of dental decay as well as obesity and diabetes.
Every time we eat, the bacteria (dental plaque) in our mouth and the acid from the food provide an acid attack which over time will develop cavities in our teeth. The greater and more frequent the exposure to these sugars, the greater the acid attack, the more rapid the progression of dental decay.
We are all aware of the obvious sugary treats such as confectionery and soft drinks, however, we must also be aware of the ‘hidden sugars’. These sugary treats can be often be marketed as ‘healthy’ options – such as dried fruit, museli bars, biscuits and fruit juice which still contain an abundance of sugars. Certainly it is normal to occasionally indulge in the odd sugary treat, and best to consume at meal times when salivary flow is high. However, we must be aware of the frequent ‘grazing’ on sugars to avoid dental decay.
So go on, dob in your families’ sugar bandit for the sake of your kids oral health.