Spring brings more than flowers and sunshine. It’s also time for Easter. Store shelves have been filled with chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps and the ever-present jelly bean since Valentine’s Day. You want your kids to have healthy teeth, but also don’t want to disappoint them by filling their baskets with fruits. What can a parent do to help maintain tooth health and still not disappoint the little ones?
Not all candy and sweet treats are created equal. For example, instead of milk chocolate, choose dark chocolate. It has a healthier makeup. Coconut candy is also a healthier choice than marshmallow jelly beans. Peanut butter also makes a healthier choice than many of the other items on shelves. In any case, however, choosing all natural products or making your own can greatly increase the health factor, for both body and teeth.
Some of the worst teeth destroyers should be eliminated completely. These include:
- Anything containing high fructose corn syrup – These treats leave behind sugar that works systematically at attacking the enamel on teeth, eventually causing decay.
- Hard candies that stay in the mouth a long time – The longer a candy stays in your mouth, the more time it has to damage your teeth. Besides the sugar attacking, hard candies can also cause chips in the tooth’s enamel.
- Chewy or sticky candies that can leave traces behind even after tooth brushing. These traces work their way between teeth and become breeding grounds for bacteria.
- Heavily pigmented food items that cause tooth discoloration. Blueberries, soy sauce, beets and curry powder can stain your teeth.
Kids love to help make things and will find these items very appealing. Try substituting these items for the majority of sweet candy treats.
- Carrots and broccoli – Remind kids that rabbit food goes well with Easter. This is perfect to satisfy your craving for something green after eating candies all day. This Raw Asparagus and Carrot Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette can be the ideal recipe for you.
- Dark chocolate – Chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa benefits the entire body. Properties found in dark chocolate are better than fluoride and helps to strengthen your teeth. Chocolate Mousse Easter Egg is the perfect dessert to end your Easter on a sweet note.
- Coconut sugar – An all-around healthier choice for both teeth and body. It has nutrients like iron, antioxidants, zinc and has a lower amount of fructose and glycemic index. Coconut Sugar Carrot-Banana Cupcakes will make your Easter treat memorable while staying healthy.
- Eggs – These can be made sweet or savory, providing a healthy taste for anyone. Pasture-raised eggs contain Vitamin K2. Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs is a healthy choice to try out.
- Monk fruit – Also known as “lo han” sweetener, it contains more anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties. It also has anti-diabetic and anti-cancer benefits. Use pure lo han sweetener that has no additives. You can use it in recipes that need sugar. Cheesecake with lo han sweetener makes for a perfect Easter recipe.
Tips to Protect Your Teeth from Easter Treats
You can protect your teeth by minimizing the acid attack that is caused by bacteria after you eat Easter candies. Try these tips:
- Drink plenty of water to neutralize the effect of acids.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes to brush and floss.
- Swish your mouth vigorously with water.
- Avoid munching all day long.
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists