With Halloween celebrations just around the corner, new research from Colgate has revealed that parents are expected to dish out an additional $22 million on sugary treats this Friday.

The research has found that according to parents, 780,000 kids in the peak age group for trick or treating (6-14-year-olds) have at least one cavity. While tooth decay is considered to be Australia’s most common chronic disease for children, it’s also one that is almost entirely preventable.

Dr Sue Cartwright, scientific affairs manager at Colgate Oral Care, says that there are ways to help protect children’s teeth from the harmful effects of sugar.

“During periods such as Halloween, when there is an increase in sugar consumption, regular brushing to remove sticky sugar from around children’s teeth, and even using a toothpaste with sugar acid neutralising technology, will be useful in minimising possible long term damage. At the end of the day, the best protection is to emphasise good dental hygiene especially after children have consumed sugary treats — preferably the best brushing they have done all week,” she said.

Top tips to help children brush from Dr Susan Cartwright:

  • Start early with babies – as soon as the first tooth erupts
  • Make brushing a game – sing along, tell a story
  • Make brushing a part of the bath routine
  • Set the example – show children how you brush your own teeth
  • Use age appropriate brushes and paste
  • Always brush after the last food/drink has been consumed and at one other time in the day
  • Always assist children under the age of 8 years

Image via The Huffington Post