Easter is just around the corner, and the Easter Bilby is busy preparing to visit!
Fun activities such as Easter egg hunts, brunches, and baskets full of candy are highlights of this coming Easter weekend.
However, all of this fun comes with a hidden threat – sugar!
About half of Australians eat too much sugar regularly, and Easter kicks this consumption into the stratosphere.
The Australian Dental Association asks that all families use moderation when enjoying their Easter treats and remember to take care of their teeth.
At Your Gold Coast Dentist, we agree, and to help you get through the Easter holiday we offer the following information and tips to help you navigate the season.
Easter and Sugar
Easter treats overflow with sugar:
- Brach’s Classic Jelly Bird Eggs. Thirty grams of sugar.
- One serving of a chocolate covered Peep (28-grams) has 14 grams of sugar. One serving of small yellow peeps is 34 grams of sugar.
- Lindt Chocolate Bunny. First, the “serving’ size here is an unrealistic half a bunny! Which comes in at 25 grams of sugar. But you’ll probably eat the whole bunny, and have a whopping 50 grams of sugar.
- Cadbury Crème Eggs. 20 grams of sugar.
These numbers are alarming as the average Australian woman should consume fewer than 25 grams of sugar, while men should have 35 grams.
But on Easter, eat one Cadbury Crème Egg, a serving of Yellow Peeps, and a chocolate bunny, and you’re already at 84 grams of sugar.
Add a serving of jellybeans, and you’re over 110 grams. Then factor in your Easter meals, drink, and the desserts that come with them? It is possible to get close to one week’s recommended sugar intake in one day!
And if there is an Easter basket full of candy, these consumption levels can last for days.
Our tips for a healthy Easter
- Wait to brush. It seems to make sense to brush your teeth directly after you enjoy your Easter candy, but this can do more harm than good.
The acid in your mouth directly after eating sugar softens the enamel, and brushing just after eating can wear the enamel away.
To minimise the contact of sugar and acids, it is a far better idea to rinse your mouth out with water after eating. Wait for a half-an-hour after eating to give your saliva time to neutralise harmful acids.
- Tap water. Water washes away food, acids, and bacteria. It also supports saliva production. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.
This means it’s best to drink fluoridated tap water, which strengthens tooth enamel. Rinsing with water is a great technique to use directly after eating; during the 30 minutes that brushing is unsafe.
- Treats to avoid. Here are a few Easter treats that should be avoided:
Sticky or Gummy Candy – Any candy that sticks to the teeth will do more harm as the pieces that remain in the mouth and the sticky residue will adhere to teeth, leading to more plaque. These kinds of candies can also damage fillings and other restorations.
Hard Candy – The more time you spend exposing teeth to sugars, the more damage is done to your dental health. These hard sweets can also damage fillings and other restorations.
Dried Fruit – Drying fruit causes the sugars in the fruit to become very concentrated. Similarly to sticky candy, dried fruit can get caught in between your teeth and cause damage.
- Choose dark chocolate. If you must eat sweets, make them organic, dark chocolate, with a sugar content of no more than 6-8 grams per serving.
There are benefits to eating dark chocolate which contains flavonoids which have been shown to slow tooth decay. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which can help to fight gum disease.
- Try ‘Treat o’clock’. Sweets and chocolates are pretty likely to be around at Easter, but you can minimise their damage by eating sweets at specific and limited times, such as after meals as dessert.
Regular snacking throughout the day dramatically expands your teeth’s exposure to sugar and never allows your saliva the chance to “re-harden” your tooth enamel.
- Regular check-ups and clean. Visit Your Gold Coast Dentist!at least twice annually for a check-up and clean!
This is the simplest way to ensure you’re maintaining optimal oral health and heading off potentially dangerous issues.
Getting the most at Your Gold Coast Dentist!
Your Gold Coast Dentist is the perfect dentist in the Parkwood area. Our practice combines high levels of skill and experience with the most advanced dental techniques available.
We offer the highest level of quality and comfort for patients of all ages. From routine checkups to the most complicated procedures, Your Gold Coast Dentist can treat you and your family with the care and respect you deserve!
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