Are Children’s School Eating Habits Affecting Their Oral Health?

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After recent findings showed that a Mediterranean diet could help to prevent oral cancer, a new survey by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) reveals that parents could be damaging their children’s oral health due to a lack of awareness about what they are eating whilst at school.

The study found that one in ten parents did not know what their children ate during their school day; whilst one in 20 reported that their children ate fast food at lunchtime. See: Science research in children’s tooth decay.

Helping out parents

In response to the findings, the BDHF published some advice in the latest online issue of their ‘Word of Mouth’ magazine, about how parents can maintain good oral health habits when their kids go back to school:

The BDHF suggests that more parents should sign their children up for school meals – which have to meet certain government requirements and are therefore often healthier than a lunchbox full of treats and processed foods.

If packed lunches are the preferred option, they should include teeth-friendly foods such as cheese, yoghurt, vegetables, breadsticks – which can all help to neutralise acids that are very damaging for young teeth. Click here for the top foods to help maintain healthy teeth.

Giving your children the best

As well as advice about which foods to eat, the organisation instructs parents to avoid fruit juices and fizzy drinks, which can erode tooth enamel.

Water is the best drink for children, and rinsing their mouths out with water is (almost!) as good as brushing their teeth at lunchtime – which it is unlikely that most children will do.

Although school mornings are a busy time, it is also essential to set aside two minutes for your child to brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste – and this should be repeated at bedtime.

Teaching children good habits now will save untold problems (and finances) in the future, the BDHF advises. Discover how to properly clean your teeth.

Maintaining oral health

The final piece of advice is to book your child in for regular check-ups at the dentist – this is the only way to ensure that you are keeping a keen eye on their oral health. Eating the right food helps to protect your teeth from decay and other issues – it helps to prevent any damage in the future. Read more.

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