Here come the holidays! And with them, an abundance of sugary treats. But those sweets aren’t the only challenges to your child’s oral health at this time of year. From foods that can cause tooth damage to busy schedules that make it harder to stick to brushing and flossing routines, you need to be careful or your kids can receive unwanted “gifts” this season.
Taking the Time to Take Care of Your Teeth
Below are some reminders about how your child can keep their teeth clean and their mouth healthy around the holidays (or anytime!):
- Choose fruit to appease a sweet tooth. Yes, you want to let your child enjoy some holiday treats. But, if you alternate those indulgences with servings of fruit, they get the “sweet” they’re craving without quite so much sugar.
- Encourage more water consumption. Drinking plenty of water is a good oral health tip at any time of year. And around the holidays, having your child drink more water, especially after eating a sweet snack, helps rinse away sugar so it doesn’t contribute to the development of cavities.
- Remind them to be careful what they bite. Candy canes, nuts, and other hard foods can damage a tooth or injure gums if you bite down on them the wrong way. Be sure your kids use caution, and enjoy these items (especially the candy) in moderation.
- Push the veggies. It’s tempting to let your child skip over the vegetable tray and head right for the dessert table at this time of year. However, those veggies can not only help control their appetite for sweet treats by filling them up, the vitamin A in many vegetables helps strengthen tooth enamel.
- Use the right tool for the job. While your child’s teeth are handy for opening a stubborn package, they definitely are not meant for that job. Every year around the holidays dentists see patients for tooth damage and injuries to lips, tongue, and gums from this kind of activity. Use scissors instead.
- Have them hum a holiday favorite while they brush. It can be hard for a child to gauge how long they’ve been brushing when they’re eager to do more celebrating. Have your kids hum a favorite carol (or two) while they brush and floss to ensure their teeth get the attention they need.
Happy, Healthy Holidays!
There’s no reason a child can’t enjoy the holidays and maintain good oral care practices at the same time. And the benefits of following the tips above will have a positive impact on their overall oral health throughout the year.
We’re proud to provide pediatric dental services along the Colorado Front Range in Lafayette (303.604.9500), Longmont (303.702.9501), and Thornton (303.452.9502). Contact us to make an appointment or learn more about our practice.