Keeping your child’s teeth clean & plaque-free is not a guarantee in itself for healthy teeth and gums. Your child’s teeth can erode even if their teeth are squeaky clean. Tooth erosion results from direct exposure to food acids, while tooth decay is caused by bacterial acid by-products.
Avoid feeding your child acidic sugary foods and beverages. These cause most tooth erosion issues in Australian children in recent years. For example, if a child slowly sips on acidic soft drinks or munches confectionary, their teeth gets acid soaked long enough for tooth surfaces to start dissolving. Over consumption of sugary beverages can lead to general health issues also, such as obesity and diabetes.
How much sugar should a child consume?
Generally, children aged less than 2 years should consume no added sugar. For children over 2 years and teenagers, recommended added sugar intake is 12.5-25 grams (3 to 6 teaspoons) – adjusted for age. Check food/drink product labels to determine the product’s added sugar content so you can calculate and manage your child’s daily added sugar intake within recommended limits.
Watch out for these sugary beverage favourites for kids
- Fruit juice flavoured drinks 250ml: >27 grams or about 7 teaspoons of sugar
- Can of soft drink 375ml: >38 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar
- Small bottle of soft drink 600ml: >64 grams or 15 teaspoons of sugar
- Small flavoured milk 300ml: >28 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar
- Large flavoured milk 600ml: >56 grams or 14 teaspoons of sugar