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Looking After Your Children’s Teeth : The Story of a Concerned Parent

child having dental checkup

As a parent of 2 small children I considered myself reasonably aware of the “do’s and don’ts” in relation to keeping them healthy and active, particularly when it came to their diets and making good choices about food.

We considered ourselves to be health conscious parents. Sweets were given on very rare occasions and usually by grandparents when we weren’t looking as they perceived our restrictions boarding abusive!

Our daughter believed dried fruit and yoghurt covered dried strawberries to be sweets. Snacks were chopped carrots, cucumber and grapes. Yoghurts were a regular addition to treats as they were full of calcium. No fruit shoots, juices or fizzy pops were allowed and flavoured water or diluted squash were the drinks of choice alongside water.

We believed we’d got it pretty sussed until my eldest daughter started to experience discomfort in her teeth.

After x- Rays it became apparent that she had a condition which meant her teeth were crumbling. We were later informed by the hospital that this was as a result of illness when the teeth we’re coming through. Alongside this when we discussed her diet a lot of the foods she had been eating were high in sugars which had also impacted on her poor teeth.

The grapes she grazed on throughout the day we were told should be avoided due to causing plaque build up. Although I must add there is still conflicting advice around fruit for parents but it appears grazing is not good and any snacks should be once -twice a day only and eaten in one sitting and not grazed on.

Yoghurts and dried fruit too were high in sugar content, but I think I was most surprised in the amount of sugar in flavoured water. Up to 8 teaspoons of sugar! We’d been massively mislead by so called healthy alternatives.

I will be honest we came out of the dentist devastated and feeling like we’d failed to care for our daughters teeth. After much researching and discussion with our dentist we felt better informed but we had to re learning all we believed about healthy eating and be more aware of sugar content in foods.

For us as a family we didn’t want to spend hours in supermarkets reading food labels so instead we decided to eat more whole natural foods, avoiding grazing on any fruits but equally remember that our children were children and treats were given but not over indulged upon or given daily.

Our experience is not a unique one but we felt it important to talk about our it in an attempt to offer reassurances to other parents and share the lessons we have learnt.

Thank you Mrs Sue Denim for your feedback.

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