Friday, 27 March 2015


[I'm very behind with this blog, so this post refers to events from a few weeks ago. I will, hopefully, catch up soon.]

The Spring sunshine has given us ample opportunities to enjoy walking in the countryside. Charlie loves walking across the Downs, appreciating the unspoilt views and glimpses of wildlife. He was very sad when we discovered collections of empty bottles and beer cans left in a sheltered spot amongst the trees.

We have been continuing our study of the human body, focusing particularly on teeth and diet. Charlie learned the names of the different kinds of teeth and their functions, as well as learning how to identify what kind of diet an animal eats by looking at its teeth.

By feeding our cats Dreamies, we were able to get a good look at their teeth and spot their sharp canine teeth, which show that they are meat-eaters.

Charlie created a picture of teeth on Dust, a physics simulation game, spraying them with virtual acid to make cavities.

We have already discussed the effects of diet on our bodies, focusing in particular on the detrimental effect of sugar on our teeth. This week, we talked in more detail about how to look after our teeth. I showed Charlie the range of dental products that we can use to keep our teeth clean in addition to toothbrushes: dental floss, plaque disclosing tablets and interdental brushes. He was very keen to try them all.

I also reminded him about our two-minute timer, which Charlie uses every time he brushes his teeth.

The disclosing tablet was a big hit. Charlie loved seeing his mouth stained red, but he was also quite surprised at how much plaque it showed up on his teeth (the following photo was taken in the morning, after breakfast, but before teeth brushing). 

He brushed for the allotted two minutes...

... then admired his shiny white gnashers.

Later, we discussed the issue of sugar in our diet and looked at ways we could cut down. We had a look at the sugar swaps recommended by Change4Life.

I had prepared for this lesson by buying many of the recommended low-sugar alternatives so that Charlie and I could try them. I have spent years dutifully pushing water as Charlie's main drink, with juice allowed for breakfast only, but Charlie has seen his big brother having fizzy drinks (you try stopping a teenager from buying them) and wants to try them for himself. I decided it was better to offer low-sugar alternatives instead.

Lower-/no-sugar drinks and carbonated water to add fizz

Low-sugar breakfast cereals

There's a good video here showing a series of experiments looking at the effects of different drinks on teeth.

At the end of his studies, Charlie created a poster designed to show children how to look after their teeth:


Luckily for me, on Mother's Day Charlie put aside all we had learned about sugar and teeth and gave me two bars of my favourite chocolate.

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