The supermarket shelves are once again stacked high with chocolate eggs. This can only mean one thing – Easter is about to start.
But should we be worried about the amount of chocolate that children eat at Easter? And does all the sugar affect their teeth? In this post, we’ll be answering this question. We’ll also give you tips on how to protect your children’s teeth this Easter.
Is Easter chocolate harmful to children’s teeth?
Let’s look at the numbers. For children aged 4 to 6, the recommended maximum daily sugar intake is 19 grams. That’s about 5 teaspoons of sugar. Older children are not much different: children aged 11 to 18 should eat a maximum of 30 grams of sugar per day.
Now, a small Easter egg weighs about 100 grams, about 50 grams of which will be sugar. That’s already way over the recommended maximum sugar intake for children.
So, if you follow the national advice, then children shouldn’t be allowed to eat Easter eggs.
Of course, however, lots of children do eat Easter eggs at Easter, plus a lot more chocolate too. In fact, on average, children receive around four big chocolate eggs at Easter. That includes all the eggs from other relatives, like aunts and uncles.
The problem is that all this sugar harms our teeth. Sugar can cause plaque, which in turn becomes cavities.
Tips on how to protect your children’s teeth at Easter
So what can you do about sugar and chocolate at Easter? We’re not saying that you need to do something as drastic is banning chocolate. But there are three simple things you can do to protect your children’s teeth.
1. Reduce the frequency that your children are eating chocolate
The old advice of “don’t eat it all at once” is wrong. Eating a chocolate egg all at once is much better for your teeth than grazing on it throughout the whole day. This is because you bathe your teeth in sugar for a long time by slowly grazing on chocolate. It’s much better to limit chocolate consumption to just one time of the day, such as the morning or after lunch.
2. Limit the amount of chocolate
One easy way to protect your children’s teeth this Easter is simply to reduce the amount of chocolate they eat. So instead of buying them several huge egg and lots of chocolate bars, just get them one little egg each. A Cadbury’s Creme Egg, for example, has 26.5 g of sugar – while this is still a lot, it’s not as much as the amount of sugar in huge Easter eggs.
3. Think of alternatives to chocolate
It’s easy to feel guilty about giving children just one small chocolate egg at Easter. And it’s tempting to assuage that guilt by buying them lots of big chocolate eggs instead.
But there are ways your children can still enjoy Easter without gorging themselves on chocolate. For example, you can paint eggs, go on a walk, or make a treasure hunt.
Easter can still be fun without ruining your children’s smiles. By reducing the amount of sugar that your children eat, you can make sure that their teeth are safe and remain cavity-free for the rest of the year.