Tooth Decay in Children

Written by MiriamSpall on Monday, April 18, 2016 - 20:40


Nicky Seabrook


01394 388234​

Suffolk IP12 4SD



Last week one of the main stories in the news was about the high incidence of tooth decay in children and the 100 operations that are carried out every day to extract teeth that have gone bad. Dentists continue to blame the excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks.

So how can we help children look after their teeth but still enjoy something sweet?

I believe we could use the natural sweetener, Xylitol more in our diet.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar. It occurs naturally in many fruit and vegetables but the highest concentrations are to be found in sweetcorn, mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries, plums and oats. Xylitol has 40% less calories compared to sugar and was popular in Europe as early as the 19th century as a safe sweetener for people with diabetes.  Xylitol is less damaging to teeth because bacteria in the mouth, which cause decay are unable to digest the xylitol.

Xylitol can be purchased in most supermarkets and used just like sugar to bake cakes, sweeten cereals or smoothies. Why not try this healthy recipe for flapjack and take some with you when you are out and about in Suffolk with your children.

Easiest Flapjacks Ever


150g slightly salted butter or coconut oil

150g xylitol

150g chopped nuts (obviously to be avoided if children have nut allergies)

150g oats

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/350F/Gas 4.

  2. Line a 20cmx30cm tin with greaseproof paper.

  3. Beat the margarine or coconut oil with the sugar until it is creamy, then stir in the nuts and oats.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown. (They will set when they’ve cooled down).

  5. Mark into slices but leave in the tin until cool before cutting and turning out.

These are rich in essential oils and easy to make with children. Taken from Smart Food for Smart Kids by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce

Image of Alex and Miriam
Written by
Where To Take Our Children