A survey of 1,000 parents with children aged two to 17 found sugar intake will significantly increase during the school break.
Ice cream and sugary drinks were named as the biggest culprits, with just one in 10 respondents reporting their child eats more vegetables over the summer.
A quarter said their child eats far more sweets over the summer holidays than they ordinarily would.
“After a long period of increased sugar intake, the summer holidays are one of the most vital times of year to book a check-up for your children," said Nyree Whitely, group clinical director of mydentist, which commissioned the poll. “Children’s appointments are free and where appropriate include a fluoride varnish treatment that can help protect against decay.”
The study also found eight in 10 respondents admitted to being concerned about the increase in their child’s sugar intake over the summer break.
But two thirds said thet made a special effort to schedule a dental check-up for their children during summer months – despite their increased consumption of sugary treats.
Tooth extraction remains the most common reason for hospital admissions in five to nine-year-olds.
But last year only 58 per cent of children saw a dentist, according to NHS data. One in five parents said their child eats more snacks in the summer due to boredom.
But almost a third admitted they were more likely to treat their children to sugary foods and drinks during the summer.
A fifth of parents believed their child’s oral care declines in the weeks off school, with the majority claiming it’s easier to forget to brush their teeth when not in the usual routine.
Around 40 per cent of parents said they sometimes forget to check whether their child has brushed their teeth or not.
“Without the school routine it’s easy for kids to fall out of their good oral hygiene and diet habits, perhaps brushing less and eating more sweet treats," Ms Whitely said. “This can be bad news for young teeth as even short periods of increased sugar intake have the potential to cause decay without a good brushing technique.
“Kids are entitled to free check-ups on the NHS and the holidays are the ideal time to take them. As well as checking their teeth, your dentist can provide a protective fluoride treatment, if necessary, plus tips on teeth friendly snacks and brushing routines.”
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