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Water best for children's teeth

News Item

posted by Research Admin on 5 November 2018

Save the Children New Zealand have issued some tips to help parents take care of their children’s dental health on National Oral Health Day today. (Friday 2 November).

The organisation has released the following tips for parents and caregivers:

  • Water is the best drink for children
  • Encourage children to regularly clean their teeth
  • Only put water or milk in baby’s bottles or sip cups
  • Give healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables
  • Check labels before buying food
  • Get regular dental checks
  • Limit packaged foods with high sugar content.

Save the Children Child Rights Advocacy and Research Director Jacqui Southey said, “Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases seen in children and one of the leading causes of hospital admissions for New Zealand children. The common causes of tooth decay are high-sugar diet with limited or no oral hygiene practices, bottle feeding of sugary drinks (particularly at night) or consuming sugary drinking in feeding cups and sucking on pacifiers dipped in honey or other sugar-sweetened food and drinks.

“We’d like to raise people’s awareness of the prevalence of tooth decay and the number of sugary foods available in our supermarkets. We’ve recently completed a submission to the Australia and NewZealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation calling for a review of the labelling of sugar in packaged foods and drinks.

“We all know that sugary food and drinks are having a negative effect on the health and development of children. Manufacturers, distributors and marketers of food and beverages must show responsibility and accountability for the negative health implications. We look forward to seeing the results of the sugar labelling review and changes being made that will make it easier for consumers to understand how much sugar is in the food they are choosing. We also hope changes will lead to a reduction the high levels of sugar in our foods.”

Save the Children press release, 2 November