Ahead of the long school holidays we surveyed parents to find out how kids’ diets change over summer.
According to the 1,000 parents we asked, children could be eating up to five times as much sugar in summer! That’s a huge increase, which many blamed on the extra ice creams, ice-lollies and sugary drinks they eat.
Worryingly, the increase in sugar also coincides with a time when kids are less likely to look after their teeth. A fifth of parents believe their child’s oral care declines in the weeks off school, with the majority claiming it’s easier to forget to brush teeth when not in the usual routine.
And 40 per cent of parents confess to forgetting to check whether their child has brushed their teeth or not.
This all means that summer is an important time to take kids for their regular check-up with the dentist.
Our Group Clinical Director Nyree Whitely said: “After a long period of increased sugar intake, the summer holidays are one of the most vital times of year to book a check-up for your children.
“Children’s appointments are free and where appropriate include a fluoride varnish treatment that can help protect against decay.”
According to data published by Public Health England, every ten minutes a child in England has a tooth removed in hospital due to preventable decay.
Tooth extraction also remains the most common reason for hospital admissions in 5 to 9-year olds, and according to NHS data in 2016/17 only 58 per cent of kids saw a dentist.
Nyree Whitley said: “Without the school routine it’s easy for kids to fall out of their good oral hygiene and diet habits, perhaps brushing less and eating more sweet treats.
“This can be bad news for young teeth as even short periods of increased sugar intake have the potential to cause decay without a good brushing technique.
“Kids are entitled to free check-ups on the NHS and the holidays are the ideal time to take them. As well as checking their teeth your dentist can provide a protective fluoride treatment, if necessary, plus tips on teeth friendly snacks and brushing routine.”
You can begin taking your child for check-ups as soon as their first tooth appears or by age 1, whichever is sooner.
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