The holidays are here. Of course, along with time spent with family and friends, that also means delicious treats! Cookies, candies and traditional sweets are present at every gathering and event. And while we’d never expect our kids to munch on veggies while everyone else was eating cookies, it is important to be aware of what all the extra sweets do to your kid’s teeth.
Some of the worst foods for your teeth are unfortunately also beloved holiday staples. Because it’s especially hard for kids to avoid sweets and treats at this time of year, it helps to reinforce dental care around the holidays. Continued care of your kid’s teeth and gums can prevent problems that could creep up next year.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your children’s teeth will continue to shine throughout the holidays.
While it might be difficult to break away from tradition, you can still find treats that can keep your teeth healthy. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are all great choices. If you’re looking for something sweet, try to opt for sugar-free options like sugar-free cocoa or candy. While it will be impossible to eliminate sugar, you can try to limit the amount. Too much sugar can lead to cavities, so try to stress enjoying treats in moderation.
Staying hydrated is key to preventing cavities. Drinking plenty of water helps to wash away sugary residue and bacteria in the mouth. It also stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes plaque acids. Plus, there is no sugar in water, making it the perfect drink. So keep those water bottles handy and encourage drinking water instead of sugary beverages.
Brushing and flossing are essential to keep your kid’s teeth healthy during any time of the year, but especially during the holidays. Make sure to have them brush twice a day and floss regularly to get rid of any food particles that may be stuck in between teeth. And as more sugary foods are around for holiday gatherings, getting them to brush and floss after eating can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Keep those regular dental visits and checkups. If your child is scheduled for a routine cleaning or checkup during the holiday season, don’t skip it. Preventative care visits are so important for healthy teeth and they establish good dental care habits for your kids that will last a lifetime. During these checkups we are able to perform a good cleaning and address hardened plaque that may have formed and is not able to be removed with a toothbrush at home. We also check the development of your child’s smile and ensure their bite is developing properly. If we find anything, it is much easier to address them early while they’re easier to treat.
Why not add a few tooth-friendly holiday gifts into the mix? Older kids might like an electric toothbrush or new water bottle, while a really fun, colorful toothbrush or toothbrush holder makes a good stocking stuffer for little ones.
Taking care of your kid’s teeth year-round is important for their overall health. By following these tips, you can help your kids enjoy the holiday season without compromising their dental health.
If you are looking for more tips, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Bay Area Kids Dentist. We are always happy to help. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!