Brushing teeth is usually not a top priority for kids. But, it is always important, especially during the holiday season, to kids to maintain health mouths with consistent teeth brushing. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holidays and get to relaxed about healthy oral habits.
Many a child and adult with visions of sugar plums dancing in their head will wake up sometime in January to find that they have some new cavities. Dentists frequently see kids with cavities and sugary snacks can contribute to the problem.
So what can you do? Let’s look at some things that we can implement for our kids and families while still enjoying the tasty sweet treats of the holiday season:
How Sugar Affects Our Teeth
When we indulge in sugary foods and drinks, they produce an excessive amount of oral bacteria that feeds on the sugars we eat. This creates harmful acids that wear down tooth enamel. As tooth enamel weakens, it becomes more susceptible to tooth decay and other oral issues such as gingivitis.
If you have sweet snacks around the house, it can be tempting to snack on those throughout the day. This is especially tempting for kids. All the latest research confirms that snacking on sweets continuously will lead to tooth decay and gum disease much faster.
Since we know that we will most likely go ahead and enjoy those scrumptious holiday delicacies, adults and children alike, then it’s best to plan ahead.
Commit now to practice good oral hygiene and involve your children in the effort. This can head off some potential dental problems for kids and give us peace of mind about reaching for those holiday treats.
• Buy a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste and stick it in your purse or pocket. Buy one for your child to take with them to school. It’s important to brush as soon as possible after having high-sugar foods and drinks.
• Encourage your children to eat sweets as part of a balanced meal, instead of simply eating them alone. When eating larger meals, our bodies produce more saliva and this works to help digest foods and neutralize damaging acids before they can attack your teeth.
• Try to limit your children’s consumption of chewy or sticky foods. Some of these may seem nutritious, but foods that force you to chew them for a long time also stick to your teeth longer. After eating things like dried fruit, raisins, chewy candies and such, have your child rinse out their mouth or brush as soon as possible.
• Take your child for a checkup now. Healthy teeth and gums are so important and it’s simple to maintain our dental health even during the holiday season if we will just take a few precautions. By getting a professional dental check-up now, it will help you be more conscientious about indulging in those rich holiday foods and allowing your children to do the same.