Tips for Healthy Holiday Teeth

Two children with Christmas hatThe Christmas season is a fun time for families to spend some extra time together and there are always special treats on hand to share. You probably can’t avoid the extra sweets that will be around during the holidays, but you can follow some simple tips to keep your kids’ teeth healthy as they participate in the fun. We’re not saying you have to skip the festivities, or even the treats! We’re just saying that a little extra dental attention can go a long way to a safe and healthy holiday.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Candy is everywhere this time of year and it’s almost impossible for your kids to not be completely overloaded. They get treats from school, treats from friends, treats from Santa, and treats from you. You may not have control over everything they’re eating, but you can help to cut back some at home. Offer healthy snacks whenever you can and try to keep the treats to a “once-a-day” dull roar. Sugar not only damages teeth, it can also lead to stomach aches. They’ll enjoy their holiday more if you can manage to cut some of the sweets.

Straws, Water, and Gum

In an ideal world, your kids would be able to brush their teeth every time they have something sweet to eat, but that’s just not feasible in the holiday real world. You can help them to keep their mouths as fresh and clean as possible though, by teaching them a few tricks. Always drink sweet drinks, like juice and hot cocoa, with a straw. This keeps the sugary liquid from coming in contact with teeth as much. Rinse with water each time you eat to clear out any leftover food. Chewing sugarfree gum after eating also dislodges sticky food. Gum with xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth.

Maintain the Routine

The holidays can wreak havoc on a dental routine. With families snacking all day, eating extra treats, and staying up late to spend extra time together, sometimes dental hygiene can take a back seat. Doing your best to stick with the dental routine will help keep your kids teeth safe this holiday season. Brushing right before bed is especially important, because it keeps harmful bacteria from taking up residence for the night. If you see your little one nodding off, get their teeth brushed before tucking them in!