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Sugar: is it a trick or a treat for your teeth?

Blog Author BDA Digital Team

Blog Date 30/10/2018



​We are encouraging dentists and their teams to promote some 'myth busting' oral health messages to help protect children's teeth during this year's Halloween celebrations.

Halloween is traditionally a time of 'trick or treating', and often involves children consuming a lot of sugary treats.

Dentists can help parents and their children protect their oral health by promoting some good oral messages in the surgery, and ensuring patients are aware of some of the pitfalls of consuming sugary snacks.

Our top five myth busting tips for your patients are:

  1. Sweets are ok as a treat: If sweets things are going to be eaten, it's better do it after a meal rather than as snack or a treat during the day. The risk of developing tooth decay increases as the amount and frequency of sugar consumption rises
  2. Fruit juice is better than sugary drinks isn't it?: pure fruit juices can be a healthy choice, but the natural sugars these contain can still damage teeth. If you are offering children fruit juice, make sure they drink it with a meal and only in a small glass (up to 150ml). Avoid 'sugar free' drinks and foods, as these contribute to a 'sweet tooth' and can cause a craving for sugary products.
  3. Brushing, it's a bore!: keeping teeth clean by regular brushing helps prevent decay. Make sure you supervise your children's brushing until the age of seven: try and make it a fun activity, rather than a chore, sing songs, or play music.
  4. Fluoride toothpaste really does help fight against decay: All children up to three years old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm, both morning and night. From three to six years old, their toothpaste should contain more than 1000ppm and 1350ppm-1500ppm for children six years or older.
  5. There's nothing wrong with my teeth, so I don't need to go to the dentist: You should visit your dentist regularly to ensure teeth stay healthy: ask them how often you should visit and keep your appointments. If any oral health problems are spotted early, then they can often be dealt with much easier. 


During this time of spooky celebrations, we urge you to remind patients about the importance of what they, and their families, are consuming and making sure their diet is balanced.

With sugar, the message is about frequency, as well as the amount consumed, to help keep your teeth healthy.


Find out more about our work to raise awareness of the impact of sugar on oral health.


Prevention first for oral health

When it comes to oral health, we believe in prevention first: tooth decay is an avoidable disease and we are campaigning for Government's to take this problem seriously, to act now and invest in real prevention.


Read our latest blogs on the topic of public health in dentistry

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