I remember when my sons were young enough to relish the joys of Easter baskets! They’d dig into the thick, colorful Easter grass in search of jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, butter-cream eggs, and chocolate in assorted bunny shapes (both hollow and solid!).
As a Mom, I loved watching them light up with their Easter morning goodies. Also, as a Mom, I cringed at the amount of sugar they were consuming. And rightly so. I heard on the news recently that the contents of a basic Easter basket contains an entire month’s worth of sugar!
Fortunately, as a dentist, I know there is a way to lessen the impact of the sugar bombardment of Easter morning. Here are some helpful tips for you and yours:
• Rather than allow your child to nibble a sweet treat here and there during the day, have them select a few items to have as dessert after a meal. Here’s why: During mealtime, digestive acids are already flowing into the mouth, which can soften tooth enamel. This leaves teeth more vulnerable to decay. When your child adds a couple of marshmallow peeps to the end of his or her meal, the acid attack is only being prolonged rather than having a new one triggered.
• Have your child swish with water after indulging in their goodie. Then, after 30 minutes, encourage them to brush their teeth. Be sure they use a fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes. The reason is this: This delay allows the acid flowing in the mouth time to subside, which takes about 20-30 minutes. If brushing occurs before this, the bristles of the toothbrush or abrasiveness of the toothpaste can wear down enamel that has been softened by oral acids.
• Chocolate and peeps are actually better on teeth than jelly beans. This is because jelly beans stick to teeth longer. The longer it takes to dissolve sugar in the mouth, the more time it has to attack tooth enamel. Have a chat with the Easter bunny about what goes into the basket beforehand!
In a perfect world, we would be able to give our children Easter baskets filled with carrots and celery and they’d be thrilled. But that’s not realistic. Or fun! Have a blessed Easter with your loved ones and share your healthy, happy smiles all day!