WENDOUREE dentist Jeremy Schocroft wants to hold up any “sugar bandits” this national Dental Health Week.
Dr Schocroft said on Monday it was never too early for infants and toddlers to start with healthy eating habits.
“The Australian Dental Association’s main campaign is to reduce infants and toddlers snacking on sugary foods and for parents to identify, or “dob in”, the “sugar bandit” in their families,” Dr Schocroft said.
“While this approach can sound a bit harsh, it can have even harsher implications for babies and toddlers.
“So often grandma, grandpa, an uncle, an aunt or another carer are the culprits.
“They have the best of intentions when they are giving out sweets in a loving, kind and responsible way without realising the damage they are doing.”
Dr Schocroft said the campaign wasn’t a witch hunt but rather to identify and eliminate unhealthy behaviour.
“Ultimately, the campaign wants to affect a change for better dental health outcomes for our babies and toddlers.”
He said sweets and sugary snacks should be kept out of sight, with healthier snacks offered, such as carrot sticks, cheese or some fruits.
“Fluoridation of the Ballarat water supply will and has made an enormous difference in lowering the community’s dental decay.
“However, diet and good cleaning are still essential.
“Some people think that, because the first teeth eventually fall out, that childrens’ teeth don’t really matter.
“However, early loss of a baby tooth predisposes a child to braces and other orthodontic treatments.”