I came across this article today and while reading the comments from both parents and Dental Health professionals I couldn’t help but see the argument from both sides.
As a Dental Health professional yes as soon as you see the picture alarm bells are raised, however as a parent I know that we are all just trying to do the best for our children.
Everyone who knows my son knows how much he loves fruit! Although most people I mention this to (grandparents, carers) say how much of a good thing it is that he loves all fruit and will eat it by the bucket load, and the vitamin C benefits are undeniable, I know that the sugar content and the frequency has to be addressed. Too frequent consumtion has the potential to cause erosion of the anamel due to acidity of the fruit, leading to decay.
So this has always been important for me in educating friends and family that the frequency is most important as each time the fruit enters his mouth, while the fact that he loves fruit and is getting so much nutrition, eating it frequently may cause a problem.
Trying to keep a toddlers snacks to mealtimes is an issue in itself and it can be testing but when everyone around George is educated to trying to keep fruit to meal times and giving him more tooth friendly snacks inbetween, cheese, nuts, crackers. I know that sugar attacks are limited to when the mouth is already exposed at mealtimes.
Without this information though, carers of my son may not be aware of the dangers of certain foods and drinks and how they are consumed.
Similarly, Katie Price is clearly unaware of the dangers of giving a juice filled bottle to little Bunny, as do all all she only wants the best for her children.
If you take away the most nutritious parts of a fruit, what are you left with? Sugar water and natural flavors – AKA: fruit juice.
When a fruit is juiced, all of the sugar comes out of it and into the solution of juice. This sugar is no different than much of the sugar that is in sweets today.
The problems we have with children’s teeth in England still remain to be an issue. If your child is old enough to have teeth, he’s old enough to have tooth problems. For infants and toddlers, the biggest threat to dental health is baby bottle tooth decay.
Milk, apple juice, formula — just about everything young children drink contains sugar. When a child drinks from a cup, the sugar moves past the teeth very quickly and does little harm. But when a child slowly sucks on a bottle, the sugar lingers in the mouth. Bacteria break down the sugar and turn it into acid. Over time, the acid can start eating away at the enamel on a child’s teeth, most often the upper front teeth. This is called baby bottle tooth decay. Small children are having large numbers of teeth extracted because of decay caused by drinking fruit juice and squash from bottles and feeding cups.
Ideally, under three’s should be given only milk and water to drink after the findings of the first nationwide survey into their dental health. Bottles should be replaced by cups at 12 months.
A study conducted by Public Health England showed that overall, 12% of three year-olds have some tooth decay, but in some parts of the UK the proportion rises to a third, the study shows.
Some children have had most of their teeth removed by the dentist, which is often stigmatising and can affect the growth of their adult teeth. Some people still put sugar in milk and children have sugared drinks as well. They sometimes fall asleep with sugary drinks in a bottle in their mouth.
Parents tended to think fruit juice is good for their small children, according to the study. People have thought they were doing the right thing – fruit juice is part of the five-a-day and has vitamins. But it is stacked with sugar. Parents are trying to do the best, but sometimes they don’t know the best thing to do.
The survey shows the highest rates of dental decay in three year-olds are in the East Midlands, followed by the north west, London, and then Yorkshire and the Humber. Three year-olds with tooth decay have an average of three missing, decayed or filled teeth. In Gloucestershire 2% of children had tooth decay; Leicester had the highest rate at 34%.
Fluoridated water helps prevent decay, but only 10% of the country has the chemical added to its supply. Parents should use fluoride toothpaste for their children. A smear is sufficient for under-threes, with a pea-sized amount for older children.
From this information it shows that there are clearly not enough preventative measures in place to educate in these areas for both parents and children in England. Schools and health services have had major cutbacks meaning investment in this dental health education is impossible.
A programme set up in Scotland has seen dramatic improvement in children’s teeth since the development,
Robert Donald, Chair of the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said in a BDA article:
“Scotland is leading the way in investing in children’s dental health. The huge improvement we have seen in youngsters’ teeth since the millennium is testament to investing in an early years’ prevention scheme, which operates in our nurseries and schools. Undoubtedly ChildSmile has saved many young children from distress, days out of education, and ultimately avoidable dental treatment.
At Happy Teeth we are raising funds to be able to provide free education to schools. Giving education to both children and parents in the community, we aim to improve children’s dental health in England.
See the below link;
By empowering individuals though education, we are inspired to better understand and have the tools required to be able to effectively care for our family’s teeth.
All things considered as parents we all have the common goal of seeing our children happy and healthy, giving them the best start we can. We need to ensure that dental health prevention is a priority in order to see the positive change needed in this area.