According to a leading dentist at the Royal College of Surgeons parents are passing on a sweet tooth to their children when they are just babies and this could lead to life-long problems with tooth decay. Dr John Walsh, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the RCSI said that parents should not put sugary drinks in bottles because it could cause cavities in baby teeth.
Dr Walsh said ‘From the very start the child is getting a taste for sugar and it is perpetuated by them starting on supposed vitamin drinks in belief it is doing them good. They have a high sugar content, even those that are supposed to be ‘baby-kind’. Speaking at the ‘Current Controversies in Dental Practice’ hosted by the RCSI, Dr Walsh said that constantly bombarding children’s teeth with acidic products will lead to cavities and he added that children should only be given sweet products at mealtimes as this allows the saliva to neutralise acid and protect the teeth. He also advised ‘it is better to give them all at once rather than dividing them out.’
As well as swapping acidic treats for savoury snacks, Dr Walsh said that it would become difficult to wean children off sugar if they are exposed to it at a young age, for a prolonged period of time. Dr Walsh said ‘We still have a strong taste for sugar and it is difficult to overcome it. The promotion of drinks plays a major part in it. Parents are trying to be kind to their children but they are storing up problems for them.’