Parents urged to spare their kids’ teeth from sugar hits this Easter

18 April 2019

With statistics in Australia’s Oral Health Tracker showing that just under 35% of children aged 5-6 years have experienced decay in their primary teeth and just over 23 percent of children aged 6-14 years have had tooth decay in their permanent teeth, the ADA is urging parents to come up with some healthier alternatives to chocolate eggs and sugary treats. 

It’s a tough ask for parents at a time of year when the Easter Bunny is handing out eggs left, right and centre, and sugary temptation is just a hop away, but it’s necessary to ensure children are given every chance to enjoy good oral health. 

The good news, says Dr Mihiri Silva from the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, is that there are lots of creative ways to reduce the holiday sugar hit. 

“To ensure everyone’s teeth aren’t harmed by too much sugar over Easter, we urge families to follow a few simple guidelines. Try restricting chocolate eggs and sugary treats to mealtimes rather than snacking on them between meals, which reduces the time teeth are exposed to acid attacks.  

“Or you might like to have some small toys and inedible treats to hand out over the long weekend, so the kids don’t feel they’ve missed out. A skipping rope, frisbee or bat and ball set will encourage movement.” 

Other suggestions include getting children occupied with Easter-themed art and craft activities or using decorative wooden or paper eggs in the Easter egg hunt, with perhaps just one chocolate egg at the end to celebrate. 

One great way to offset the sugar hits is to have a sugar break before and after Easter by limiting the intake of processed snack foods such as muesli bars and baked goods. It also pays to be aware of foods containing hidden sugars, many of which are sold as healthy snacks. 

The ADA wishes everyone a happy and safe Easter.