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Back to School – Is your Kid’s Lunch Putting Them at Risk of Early Childhood Decay?

It’s back to school and for parents across Perth that means the dreaded dilemma of what to put in their kids school lunches each day. While it is unrealistic to completely cut out decay causing foods from your child’s diet, the ADA provides tips that are easy for all families to follow in order to minimize your child’s risk of tooth decay and maximize their early oral health:

  1. Try to include foods that are high in calcium but low in acids and sugars
  2. Help your child to enjoy 2 healthy snacks per day such as fruit and a small portion of cheese. Cheese and milk have protective qualities which help prevent decay.
  3. Give your child a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meats and dairy.
  4. Limit how many sugary snacks such as lollies, fruit & muesli bars, biscuits, dried fruit, cordials, juices and soft drink.
  5. Drinking juices and other soft drinks should be limited to meal times if not avoided altogether. Even diet soft drinks can have high acid levels which dissolve tooth structures.  
  6. Encourage your child to drink plenty of tap water – this contains fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay. If your child mostly drinks bottled or tank water mostly then ensure they receive their topical fluoride application at each dental visit. Bottled water and tank water does not contain fluoride and some water filter taps remove fluoride from water.  
  7. Help your child to brush twice daily and as they get older teach them how to floss daily.
  8. Visit Dental Excellence Perth for regular checkups!

While the above guidelines are quite straight forward, there can be some hidden sugar in medicines so if your child is prescribed medication ask your doctor if it can be sugar-free and non-acidic.

Good Oral hygiene begins at birth and the Australian Dental Association have produced some great fact sheets on oral hygiene for babies, toddlers and children as well as instruction on cleaning your baby’s gums and teeth at You can start by gently wiping down their teeth with a moistened cloth before putting them to sleep.

If you ever have any concerns, contact your Perth Dentist at Dental Excellence on 08 9443 8333.

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