Ask the Dentist: Don't sugar-coat fizzy drink warnings for kids

After an unwelcome leak, Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care in Belfast gives an insight into Dentist Mum Syndrome...

Fizzy drinks are ruinous for children's teeth
Fizzy drinks are ruinous for children's teeth

DURING the recent bad weather our bedroom window was leaking, not dripping, torrents of water were running in through the window and down the walls.

The man duly climbed out the third-floor window on to the sloping roof to discover the cause.

I was certain it was down to being an old house and braced myself for the damage bill.

A short while later he returned with a bag of squashed fizzy drinks cans that had lodged in the guttering and were the cause of my new bedroom pond.

Initially, my thoughts were swirling with a newfound respect for the value of gutters and then I quickly homed in on the culprit who had been chucking the cans out his bedroom window in order to get rid of the evidence.

This behaviour is central to Dentist Mum Syndrome.

There followed a stern talking to and me waking up the following morning in a cold sweat after a nightmare where his teeth had rotted to the gum, needed to be removed and implants placed.

So, I get it, it's difficult to keep our children's diets on track and they are there to push back at our boundaries.

But let's keep trying. We are bombarded by clever marketing from the fizzy drinks industry and when you walk into a supermarket or corner shop you practically have to double backflip to unearth the healthy options so it's no wonder that children drink too many sodas.

There are 14 teaspoons of sugar in Monster, 13 teaspoons in Red Bull and nine teaspoons in a can of Coke.

Some fruit juices are frankly not much better. Four whole oranges can be squeezed into a bottle of juice the same size as a coke can, and this contains seven teaspoons of sugar.

If someone sat beside you and put seven teaspoons of sugar (let alone 14) into their coffee your eyes would be popping out of your head.

As boring as it sounds, water, milk, tea and coffee without sugar or flavourings are the best drinks for us and the children.

Drinking water with meals and avoiding buying fizzy drinks or juice in the weekly shop will massively help reduce the amount of sugar that children drink and so protect their teeth.