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Teeth friendly summer snack tips for kids

For families with young children the summer holidays often come with lots of time on the road visiting places and late bed times whilst the kids make the most of the late nights. Inevitably this can lead to more snacks and treats working their way into your children's diets as drive through's become ever so tempting and meal times are increasingly delayed or skipped. Trips to the seaside and tourist attractions often increase the exposure of your children to unhealthy snacks and treats.

Here are our 5 top tips to try and help you protect your children's teeth (and wallet) during the summer break:

Drink often: A dry mouth quickly fills with harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and smelly breath. Drink regularly, ideally use water as sugary drinks can leave you feeling thirstier.

Take water with you: Most sugary drinks are consumed when people leave themselves with no alternative but to buy fluids when out and about. Before you the leave the house fill up a few water bottles. They won't stay ice cold but they'll keep you hydrated and stop the craving for sugary drinks which damage your teeth.

Sweeten drinks naturally: If the kids insist on having fluids with a bit of flavour then try using an infuser to flavour their water naturally. Slice a lemon, orange or some other citrus fruit then dump the slices in a water bottle or jug. The water will quickly take on the flavour of the fruit and taste better whilst saving your kids from a mass sugar attack.

Keep drinks cool: If you have pop at home then keep it out of the fridge. Put a jug of water in the fridge and have ice cubes on standby. If given the choice, many kids when feeling hot will choose a nice cold glass of water over room temperature cans of pop.

Use a straw: Straws are a great way to reduce the amount of sugar that hits the teeth when drinking sugary drinks (so long as they don't swish afterwards!)

Reduce frequency of treats: If the kids are going to eat treats then try and have them eat / drink them at the same time. Consuming treats all at once then brushing afterwards reduces the opportunity for acid erosion. Try and save sugary drinks (pop, cordial, natural and concentrated juice) for meal times and limit to 1 serving per day.

Feed them protein and high water content food: Dietary protein such as nuts, cheese and sliced meats are much better alternatives than sweet stuff. The same goes with fruits and vegetables which can help wash away harmful bacteria in their mouth due to their high water content.

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