Children and Sugar during the Summer Holidays

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As the summer holidays are currently in full swing, we thought it the perfect time to remind everyone of the importance of watching how much sugar your child eats at this time. Last year, the company mydentist commissioned a survey to find out how a child’s sugar intake changes over the summer, and the results were staggering to say the least.

It was found that children end up consuming up to five times more sugar during the summer holidays than they would do at any other time of the year. This worrying statistic is due to the warmer weather being an excuse for parents to let their children consume more fizzy drinks and ice creams, especially as treats on an increased number of days out. Working parents that rely on free, healthy school meals throughout the year also have to ensure that their child eats a proper meal each day, which can sometimes lead to more ‘convenient’ junk food and ready meal options over the holidays, which often contain higher levels of saturated fats and sugar. Furthermore, many children are also spending time with grandparents and carers throughout the holidays who, as we all know, are more than happy to hand out sweets frequently.

The survey asked 1000 parents of children aged between 2 and 17 if they were concerned about their child’s intake of sugar over the holiday period; just 10% said their child ate more vegetables compared to 25% admitting to an increase in sugar consumption. 80% of those tested said this increase caused them concern.

The combination of these factors can have a detrimental effect on our children’s mouths – it is more importmant than ever if they are indulging in unhealthy snacks and slacking on oral hygiene to make sure that plenty of water is consumed to rinse the mouths of sticky food particles and sugar. Here at the practice, we find it can get quieter during the summer months, but routine check-ups are vital in maintaining your children’s oral health and should never be skipped or forgotten. This leads on to the one hopeful result from this study- that 2/3 of parents made a special effort to schedule a check-up at their dentist at summertime! Don’t be that third person- your child only has one set of teeth to last them their whole lives, so trying to keep oral health a priority will only pay dividends down the line.

Warmer weather and no structure to the day due to a lack of school can mean a change of routine for many. This can occasionally mean that tooth-brushing suffers as a result, and parents can sometimes forget to check if their children have brushed their teeth. With an increase in sugar consumption, it is more crucial than ever to make sure your children brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

If you have concerns that the oral health of your children has been impacted this summer by an increase in sugar consumption, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Strand on the Green Dental Practice. Please contact us on 020 8995 0298 if you have any worries about your child’s (or your own) oral health. From all of us here at Strand on the Green, enjoy the rest of the summer and remember to consider some healthier snacks as well as the ice creams!

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