Easter is an important holiday for many of us, and certainly one that children tend to circle on the calendar.
But that exciting visit from the Easter Bilby/Bunny always comes with piles of candy and chocolate.
Chocolate is historically related to Easter because it used to be a treat for people who had completed fasting during Lent.
Today, we don’t think of chocolate as part of religious observance, and at Easter we associate it with bilbies/bunnies and baskets.
Unfortunately, the sugar in candy is not good for our teeth or our overall health.
At Prevent Dental Suite, we want you to know about the hidden dangers of Easter’s sweet candies and how you can protect your teeth and health over the Easter week.
Sugar and Easter Candy
The World Health Organisation recommends keeping sugar intake below 10% of daily energy intake. For the average adult, this is below 12 teaspoons daily.
However, more than half of Australian adults exceed this limit, and on Easter it’s difficult to stay below it as Easter candies are incredibly high in sugar:
- Cadbury Creme Eggs – 20 g sugar (5 teaspoons)
- Dove Dark Chocolate Eggs – 20 g sugar (5 teaspoons)
- Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies (4 small bunnies) – 26 g sugar (6.5 teaspoons)
- Jelly Beans (40 grams) – 7 teaspoons
- Peanut butter chocolate eggs – 5 to 8 teaspoons
You can see how easy it can be to exceed the recommendation, and an Easter basket full of candies might mean exceeding that recommendation for days in a row.
Happily, Prevent Dental Suite has some tips to help you control sugar intake on Easter.
Our Six Dental Tips for You!
- Take sweets in small amounts and/or all at once. It is unhealthy for teeth to eat all day long as it temporarily weakens the teeth enamel. It is better to eat sweets once or twice a day, and then brush your teeth (not immediately!) to prevent bacteria from attacking the teeth. It is advisable to wait at least thirty minutes until you brush your teeth because the acid weakens the enamel and vigorous brushing can lead to damage to the teeth and push acids deeper into the enamel. If there is no way to brush your teeth, sugar-free chewing gum can help by stimulating the flow of saliva and washing away the acid.
- Try a mouth-cleansing snack. Some snacks stimulate saliva production, which helps to wash away chocolate and other sugary foods you got from your Easter egg hunt. Eating a snack of apples, carrots, or celery can help reduce damage caused by sugar. These fruits and vegetables have a fibrous texture, helping them brush away food debris that is stuck between your teeth, gums, and under your tongue. Along the same lines, a piece of cheese eaten after having sweets helps return the mouth to its natural acid balance and reduces the chances of tooth decay.
- Savoury chocolates, not sweets. This Easter is a great time to consider dark chocolates, if possible, the organic ones as a more health-conscious alternative to milk chocolate. In most cases, dark chocolate has much less sugar, which means it is a less efficient food for plaque-making bacteria. For the health conscious, dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which is another good reason to enjoy a few squares without worrying about gaining too much weight.
- Stay away from sticky or hard sweets. Sticky candies can get stuck on and between teeth, giving their sugar more time to attack your enamel. The other issue with sticky or hard sweets is they can cause immediate dental damage because they tend to stick around longer than usual. We sometimes see patients who have lost fillings, crowns, and other appliances because they ate a sticky toffee or hard peppermint candy.
- Drink as much water as you can. Drinking water before eating reduces hunger, and drinking during and after eating helps saliva with keeping your teeth clean and sluices sugars and other food debris away. If you’re tempted to have a sugary soft drink, replace it with water with a twist of cucumber or lemon slice. This might be your next go-to thirst quencher!
- Visit your Prevent Dental Suite Once the Easter holidays have concluded, and the Easter Bilby is long gone, make appointments for your whole family at Prevent Dental Suite. We’ll give your teeth a good checkup and clean, recommending treatment if necessary. This is one of the best ways of ensuring your dental health for Easter and beyond. And we offer a wide range of services – if the alignment of your teeth reminds you a bit too much of the Easter Bunny? We can help you with that as well!
High-quality Dental Care at Prevent Dental Suite
Prevent Dental Suite is comprised of dedicated dental professionals who provide gentle and patient-oriented care to offer the best-quality dental service from the moment patients enter our office.
Dr Shilpa Gupta is the resident dentist at our Kallangur clinic and combines many years’ experience with personable service. To learn more about our fantastic team, go to our team page.
Kallangur dentist is also serving local communities in Warner, Murrumba Downs, North Lakes, Petrie, Strathpine, Lillybrook, Griffin, Mango Hill, Lawnton, Deception Bay, Narangba, North Brisbane and Brisbane.
Parking is easy and free. Parking is located at the rear of the building – access via Storey Road.
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Call us on (07) 3886 2428 or visit us at 9/1376 Anzac Ave in Kallangur.