It’s that time of year again – the holiday season. You’ve already survived probably the worst of them all, Halloween. But if you read our blog about how to keep your kid’s teeth healthy this Halloween, and better yet, our ideas about swapping out their candy, you’re already one step ahead! Here are six simple tips to help you keep your child’s teeth cavity-free from now until the new year:
- Implement a “must brush” rule – After your child has a piece of pumpkin pie, or caramel from good old grandpa, insist that they brush their teeth immediately after eating. This supports good teeth brushing habits but also eliminates sticky sugar before it has time to do any damage.
- Reinforce healthy choices and make them available – Instead of leaving holiday candy on the counter, have a bowl of fruit and veggies for grab and go snacks. This can also be applied to some of the delightful experiences – like leaving carrots for Santa’s reindeer!
- Try to set limits of sugary snacks – A treat every now and then is ok, but all day every day can negatively impact your child’s teeth and gums (and overall health). Cavities thrive on sugar and bacteria. It’s a long season of sweetness but limiting consumption can help prevent dental issues down the road. You can also check out our list of healthy snacks we wrote about for some ideas!
- Eat sweets with a meal – The American Dental Association states its best to eat sugary foods “with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.” Easy enough. Let them enjoy some pie with their meal!
- Skip the sugary drinks and choose water – Ditch the apple cider, or sparkling juice this year. The less you expose those little teeth and gums to sugar, the healthier their smiles. Plus, water does a great job of rinsing sugar and bacteria from foods away!
- Schedule a post-holiday dental cleaning and dental exam now – Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent any and all problems with your children’s teeth and gums. But our hygienists can get rid of plaque and tartar to help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. Our dentists and hygienists are highly trained and can spot problems while they’re small and still easy to treat.
With the business the holidays bring, schedule a checkup to make sure your children’s teeth haven’t made it on the naughty list. Because what’s even scarier than grandma’s cheek pinching? Cavities!