Torbay Council’s Public Health Team advises dental teams in the South West to give sugar the brush off and help parents change the snacks they give their children by promoting the key messages of Public Health England’s latest Change4Life campaign which advises families to look for 100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max.

This advice follows research that showed children were eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar; with half coming from snacks and sugary drinks. This can lead to health problems, such as weight gain and dental decay.

Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Jackie Stockman, said: “1 in 5 children in the South West have decayed, missing or filled teeth by the time they are five years-old.

“Being sugar smart - swapping out sugar for healthier food and drink choices - is a vital step in the fight against cavities. Another is to visit the dentist regularly and we recommend parents bring their children in from the moment their teeth start coming through - so at around six months.”

Dentists from the South West are signing up to the Change4Life public health campaign to help families choose healthier snacks. With the help of the Top Tips for Teeth dental toolkit they are sharing messages and advice with parents who come into their surgeries about the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children.

Advice from dentists includes:

  • reduce sugar - for example: swap sugary drinks for sugar-free, diet or no added sugar drinks (water or low fat milk the best) and avoid sugary food and drink before bedtime
  • ‘Twice is Nice’ - brush once before bed and once again whenever suits your family routine
  • Spit don’t rinse - water washes fluoride away
  • get regular dental checks from when the first tooth starts to comes through

For more information on healthier snacks sign up on the Change4Life  Opens in a new window website.

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