Staying healthy during the holidays can be a real challenge. Sweets seem to appear out of thin air. Between present-wrapping, card-writing and menu-planning, carving out time to eat for oral wellness gets less attention than the Elf on the Shelf. But, don’t despair! Here are some holiday healthy teeth tips brought to you by the American Dental Association to help you make a plan:
Children thrive on routines. And, when it comes to oral hygiene, a good oral routine is key for success. During the holidays this is even more important since sweets are in abundance and life gets busier and busier. Sometimes with all that busyness, it is easy to loosen up on oral care routines–don’t! If anything, the holidays are the time when parents need to gift their children the gift of good oral health and a white smile. Smiles last a lifetime and impact a child’s self esteem and development more than one might think.
A good oral health routine has you and your child engaged in toothbrushing at least two times a day, and flossing at least once a day. Remember to brush for two minutes and to use an ADA-approved, fluoride toothpaste.
Christmas is a season of giving. Often, these gifts are edible, and we aren’t talking about vegetable and fruit trays. While you don’t need to sacrifice all the treats during the holidays, striving for a balance with children is key. And, if your child is indulging in more sugar than usual, you need to be brushing more than usual as well.
Some treats are definitely better than others. Remember, hard candies (hard candy canes) can break or chip teeth if they are chewed. Candy canes and suckers also take longer to consume when eaten correctly meaning that your child’s teeth are exposed to the sugars for a longer duration of time. Definitely brush after your child consumes one! Same goes for carmels and sticky candies. These treats latch onto the enamel of the teeth and will hang on for as long as they can if you don’t take action with some bristles to get the sugar off the enamel.
The holidays bring lots of activities and fun which can lead to some tired kids (and parents). Often, we are tired, the body craves energy in the form of sugar. And, sugar seems to be in abundance throughout the holidays. Help combat this by increasing the water you and your child are drinking. Water can help rinse the mouth from sugars while keeping your body better hydrated during the cold, dry months.
Winter activities can be really fun, but are even more fun when you use protective equipment to safeguard your body and smile. When it comes to a mouth guard, you really get a great deal. They are inexpensive but they can literally save teeth while also protecting the jaw. According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.
So, which winter sports require mouth guards? Here are a few to consider:
The holidays are a great time to get ready for the new year with an end-of-the-year exam and cleaning. Involving your dentist in your child’s care this holiday will help you in your goal for healthy teeth this holiday (and after). Dr. Botero and her friendly staff at Li’l Sunshine Smiles are here to help guide you and your child to excellent oral wellness. A consultation with our team can help identify what your child needs to keep her oral health where it needs to be. Call us today at 813-576-0200 to make an appointment and to learn more tips for healthy teeth this holiday.