October 1, 2023
With Christmas right around the corner, we find ourselves surrounded by many different treats. From Thanksgiving all the way to the New Year, you can count on many different treats tempting you daily. Cookies, candies, cakes and hot coco you and your children are bound to indulge in one or more of these tasty treats. You probably aren’t thinking too much about your teeth when your snacking on that box of chocolates, or you child is sucking on a peppermint candy cane. If you think about it, our teeth take a beating during the holiday season, there is so much sugar being consumed! So lets take a few minutes to talk about how we can keep yours and your child’s teeth healthy during this holiday season.
If you recall from the older post, Snacks That Cause Cavities, you will remember that foods high in sugar can be damaging to your child’s teeth, and we all know that our children are getting a little more than they usually do during the holiday’s. So how do you battle this increase in sugar consumption? Here are a few tips.
Brush teeth after eating one of those yummy holiday treats. Remembering to brush yours or your child’s teeth after eating something sugary, the layer of sugar that was left on the teeth will be removed and will help prevent and tooth decay from happening. The ADA also recommends that we encourage our children to brush and floss more frequently during the holidays, instead of just the two times a day. If you are in a situation where you can’t brush your child’s teeth, rinsing their mouth with water is the next best solution.
Cut back on sugar time. Hard candies and candy canes are a big hit this time of year, and they are probably one of the worst things you can eat. Your child will be sucking on a piece of candy or candy cane for quite sometime before it is all gone. This extended period of time eating something made of mostly sugar is going to wreak havoc on your child’s teeth. If your children are eating hard candies, have them rinse their mouth afterward to help remove some of the sugar that lingers on their teeth.
Stuff their stockings with healthy stocking stuffers. Waking up Christmas morning is very exciting as a child, running out to the Christmas tree to see presents and a full stocking hanging from the fireplace. Most of the time those stockings are stuffed with more goodies for your children to eat. Along with those goodies, maybe throw in a toothbrush with their favorite character on it, or maybe one in their favorite color, this may make them excited to open it up and use it. It also doesn’t hurt to throw in a pack of floss or a tube or toothpaste. Some people even put a piece of fruit in the stockings. If you need some ideas for healthy snacks to put in your children’s stockings this year go back and read the post Foods For A Healthy Smile, this could offer some additional ideas.
Go see your dentist. This time of year your children are most likely on Christmas break. What a great opportunity to schedule a cleaning appointment at the dentist! No need to work around extracurricular activities, or take your child out of school for a visit. It’s a win!
Drink Water. Not only are our children eating more sugary treats, but there may also be more opportunities to drink something tasty as well. Tis the season for hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog and probably more juice than normal. These drinks are chalk full of sugar, no wonder they taste so good! Knowing that your children will be getting more of these as well is another good reason to encourage water; this will help keep those teeth cleaner when there isn’t a toothbrush near.
Keep up with their daily tooth brushing habits. When the kids are out of school, it is easy for them to forget to brush their teeth in the morning as they doing have to get ready for school. Because of this, try to help your children to remember to brush their teeth after breakfast everyday until school starts up again. This may not already be part of their routine, but if it isn’t this will help protect their teeth during Christmas break.
These tips will hopefully help you keep not only your child’s teeth healthy this holiday season but yours as well. In addition to these tips, sometimes dental emergencies can happen during the holidays. If an emergency does occur know your options as most dental offices are closed. Ask your dentist if they have emergency hours set aside, or find an emergency dental clinic; these are similar to urgent care clinics. Don’t wait to get a dental emergency fixed, as it could worsen the damage that was done.
I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and healthy Christmas and Holiday season. Remember if you have and questions about how to keep your children’s teeth healthy ask their dentist, or if you are not able to ask the dentist please visit the links below for more information.