Easter activities are just around the corner. Will the Easter bunny be making a stop by your house with goodie baskets for the kids? Perhaps it’s a good time to rethink your strategy before you fill your shopping basket with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and other sweets. Sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay in children and even adults. Indulging on too many sweets over an extended time can lead to cavities, tooth decay and even gum disease.
Skip these sugar-filled Easter basket treats and use these tips for keeping your Easter baskets tooth-friendly this year.
One of the first things most parents reach for when assembling supplies for easter baskets is a big bag of jelly beans. After all, they make for the perfect treat to stuff inside those colorful plastic eggs that kids love to search for. But jelly beans are made of mostly pure sugar, and all of the different color varieties they come in are due to the liberal use of food dye. They may be fun, but these soft, chewy candies can also dislodge sealants and fillings which are even harder to remove on the back teeth.
Just like jelly beans, those soft marshmallow Peeps are full of sugar. In addition to their sugar content, Peeps are also sticky, so they are likely to hang around on your teeth long after they are long gone.
Oversized Chocolate Bunny
Instead of a traditional solid chocolate bunny as the centerpiece in this years baskets, replace it with a stuffed bunny or other stuffed animal that you know your child will love. Not only will the stuffed bunny last longer, but it will most certainly cause less damage to your child’s teeth.
Hard Candies and Lollipops
Any type of candy that stays in the mouth for an extended period of time is a bad choice. These types of treats are constantly exposing the teeth to sugar and giving your mouth what we like to call a “sugar bath.”
Fill Your Baskets With Sugar-Free Alternatives
Reduce the amount of candy in your Easter baskets by mixing in healthier alternatives in addition to your sweet treats. Items like sugar-free gum, graham crackers, cheddar bunnies, applesauce pouches, and other sugar-free treats are sure to be just as much of a hit as the sugar-filled snacks. If you do opt for chocolate, make it dark chocolate for a healthier treat.
Our favorite sugar-free alternatives include:
- Beach toys
- Sandals for the upcoming summer months
- Mini lego sets
- Hair bows and accessories
- Nail polish
- Bath bombs
- Art supplies including paints, markers and crayons
- Stationary sets
- Coloring books
- Outdoor toys
- Pool floats
- Sidewalk chalk
- Matchbox cars
- Flavored toothpaste
Create Themes For Your Baskets
Lets face it, kids love a good theme. Regardless of their age, your children likely have a favorite cartoon character, sport, or even hobby such as cooking or baking. Why not center their easter basket around what they love most? Creating an Easter basket around a theme will open your eyes to other non-candy related items that make for great additions to your baskets.
Make an Appointment This Easter
We’re not saying to remove sugar from your Easter celebrations completely, but when it comes to consuming sweets, moderation is key. Your family will still be able to have great quality time together, just with a little less sugar-buzz, all while preventing cavities. Make an appointment with Dr. Kim Okamura DDS as part of your post-Easter routine to keep your family healthy.