It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a diet that is high in sugar is super bad for you – we hear it and read it in the news all the time. However, back in March George Osbourne revealed the long-awaited ‘Sugar Tax’ as part of his 2016 Budget Speech.
Of course, the biggest health risk associated with a diet high in sugar for our kids is childhood obesity – which is becoming something of an epidemic in the UK. Stats from 2012 show that 1 in 3 children in the UK were considered overweight or obese.
The threat of heart disease that is associated particularly with childhood obesity is enough to make you stop and think. The long-term effects of obesity in childhood are so devastating something drastic needs to be done. Surely the Sugar Tax is the first step in this change.
However, it’s not just our children’s weight that sugar negatively impacts. Any parent up and down the country must surely be aware of the impact of sugar on our children’s dental health and the benefits that implementing the Sugar Tax can have on the health of children’s teeth.
So how exactly can sugar cause so much damage? We’re no strangers to the words decay and cavities. The frightening amounts of sugar that fill juices and snacks is unbelievable and it’s allowing existing bacteria in our mouths to fill up, as it’s sugar that they feed on. This results in an acid that wears away the protective enamel that usually protects our teeth.
So, it stands to reason that the Sugar Tax, making these sugary treats more expensive, will go hand in hand in a reduction in sugar consumption. Right? Well, it doesn’t just end there. As parents, we really have to make sure we stress the importance of a thorough and regular oral hygiene routine to our children from as young an age as possible.
We need to teach our children that having healthy teeth and gums is one of the basics to living an all-round healthy life. And that too much sugar is not only harmful to the teeth but it also has a negative effect on our overall health. They all go hand in hand and it’s up to us to guide the way for our little ones.
Cutting down your household’s intake of sugar is a great start! Starting up a regular brushing and flossing routine and even chewing sugar-free gum in between meals can all protect those young teeth of theirs. And of course, when it comes to dental hygiene and care it’s fundamental to lead by example- make sure they see you practising good oral hygiene and the rest will follow.
Please let me know in the comments below if you have any dental health tips for making sure those little teeth stay healthy or for reducing sugar in the family’s diet.