All was fine tooth-wise, apart from slight wonkyness in the junior teeth which may or may not need fixing at a future date - but we were warned about very early signs of decay.
Now we've been down that road before as parents and don't plan to travel it again. On (very long) journey home from Devon on Monday, mindful of just how self-indulgent we'd been and the fact that my jeans were tighter than they had been at the start of the holidays I had formulated new rules.
Back at home I consulted websites (Aquafresh, Change4Life, something mad and hippy which I ignored...) for advice and came up with the following which I have written down and everyone knows they must follow:
- Sugary food and acidic, sugary or fizzy drinks at mealtimes only. Drinks must have a straw (this helps stop children washing drinks around their teeth). Chocolate and sweets are lovely treats and nice to end meals with.
- In between meals we can have fruit, vegetables, cheese, savoury biscuits, rice cakes and crackers, breadsticks and oatcakes, bread or toast with butter. Drinks can be milk or water.
My observations so far? The main one is that all of us are less inclined to snack between meals just for the sake of it and only if really hungry. It seems we're more than capable of finding a little corner for chocolate and sweets at any time. We don't necessarily want it after meals either so consumption has been drastically reduced.
The second is that they now eat the food I put on the table at mealtimes because they are hungry and haven't filled up on rubbish in between meals. Much, much better from a parental point of view.
They're also drinking more milk which pleases me - all that lovely bone and tooth-building calcium - and I have a real hatred of squash (except the blackcurrant kind in a bottle an hour into a long run).
I'm not sure how we slipped into such bad habits (H didn't have any sweets or chocolate at all until she was about two years old) but it's easy to do especially when they see other children seemingly having sweets every day and ask, ask and ASK for some too. It's too easy to give in to such demands and too tiring to constantly say no, no and NO BECAUSE I SAID SO!
From now on there is no longer the 'oh, go on then' (sigh) just for an easy life, because it isn't necessarily an easy life when such actions have consequences (at regular mealtimes and beyond).
Se we now have new house rules* (to add to the existing which are don't jump on the furniture, draw on the walls, call each other names or hit each other) and they apply to everyone, big, small, visitor or resident.
*DISCLAIMER: Rules can be bent on holidays, birthdays and special occasions.