Is Cereal Really The Biggest Culprit of Tooth Decay in Kids?

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What is your favourite cereal?

Recently in the news, it would seem that all eyes are on children and what they eat – sweets, energy drinks, cereal… Child obesity is a really hot topic right now – it’s on the rise and without intervention, rates of child obesity are set to soar.

The most important meal of the day?

Cereal is one of the most popular things to have for breakfast. It’s quick, easy and there is so many to choose from nowadays. Often in advertising, cereal is make to look healthy and nutritious, but some of the UK’s most loved cereals are packed full of sugar. Without thinking, we hand bowls of cereal to our children every day thinking it is a substantial meal to kick off the day. More than 60% of cereals provide over half of the recommended daily sugar intake for four to six-year-olds, wreaking havoc with kid’s weight and teeth.

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Can we really blame cereal?

Well, yes and no. Some cereals are more sugary in comparison to others. What doesn’t help is that on the cereal boxes, the imagery of the portion sizes is a lot bigger than the recommended serving size, so we subconsciously think this is the size of portion we should be consuming. On the other hand, there are plenty of healthy alternative cereals out there. But sadly, they’re often not as exciting and as appealing to children. Cartoon characters, brightly coloured boxes and ‘treat’ like flavours such as chocolate and toffee are more appealing to children.

The consequences of sugary cereal.

Too much sugar isn’t good for anyone. It isn’t kind to our weight, and it isn’t kind to our teeth. With child obesity at an all time high and with tooth decay remaining the number one reason for planned hospital visits among children, we need to take a stand. Sugary breakfast cereals are putting our children at risk of developing tooth decay.

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What can you do?

What can you do at home to make sure that sugar isn’t wreaking havoc with your child’s teeth? Well there are a few simple steps:

  • Switch up their breakfasts – look for low sugar cereals, or try having a savoury breakfast such as toast with a thin slice of cheese – cheese’s calcium content is good for kid’s growing teeth. Try to avoid sugary drinks such as orange and apple juice in the morning too. Water is best.

Save sugary snacks for treats such as birthday parties, sleepovers or trips to the cinema. Too much sugar, on top of a sugary cereal breakfast is bad news for kid’s teeth.

Good oral health begins at home. Make sure your child is brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Encourage flossing too, though this might be tricky for them to get a hang of first. Finally, ensure they’re visiting the dentist at least twice a year. All children in the UK are eligible for free NHS dentistry until they turn 18.

Register your child with a dentist today.

If your child isn’t registered with a dentist, they will miss out on free NHS treatment. To find an NHS dentist for your child, click the image below. We can help you! All it takes is a simple location search.

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