A typical Irish child consumes over 16kg of treat foods per year - the equivalent of 140 small chocolate bars, 105 tubes of sweets, 36 packets of jam-filled biscuits and 118 bags of crisps. And then there is ice cream, cakes, pastries, buns and puddings.
Sugar causes tooth decay and children who eat sweets every day are at particular risk. This is caused not only by the amount of sugar in sweet food and drinks, but by how often the teeth are in contact with the sugar. This means sweet drinks in a bottle or feeder cup and lollipops are particularly damaging because they bathe the teeth in sugar for long periods of time.
Acidic drinks such as fruit juice and squash can harm teeth, too. Key advice for children under three is to just give them water and milk.