The holidays are a favorite time of year for many, but they can wreak havoc on your family’s oral health. Without taking the proper steps to protect teeth, parents may discover their children have developed quite a few cavities. This is why all parents should keep these simple tips in mind to avoid dental decay, while still enjoying every moment of the holidays.
Limit “Chewing Intensive” Foods
When most parents think about foods and beverages that harm their children’s teeth, they consider sweets such as chocolates and other deserts. What these parents may not realize, is that sugar and carb-laden foods that take a long time to chew will actually deposit more debris in the mouth, which increases the risk of bacteria developing. When planning holiday meals make sure you only have one dish that requires a lot of chewing.
Lead by Example
Throughout the year, parents should be leading by example when it comes to oral health. Children will undoubtedly eat a diet similar to their parents, but without some of the necessary vegetables. Dr. Brian Yim suggests parents make it a point to eat together often, and set an example of the right foods to eat. Parents should keep up with oral hygiene habits, including regular visits to the family dentist in Hamilton, during the busiest holiday months.
Be Wary of Healthy Drinks for Children
Many beverages that are marketed as healthy for children can still be extremely harmful to a child’s teeth, especially in large quantities. While most parents will want to give their children some sweets, it is important to keep any beverage with sugars, intense colors, and dyes to a minimum. This includes all-natural fruit juices which should be consumed in moderation.
Don’t Forget to Rinse and Use Mouthwash
A quick brush of the teeth will go a long way, but having floss and mouthwash on hand is a great way to clean out some lingering debris in the mouth, while a family is on the go. There are countless travel-size mouthwashes and floss packages to choose from, and many of them have been designed for children to use safely and effectively. Talk to your dentist about the safest brands.
Stay Healthy Outside of Holiday Parties
Everyone is sure to enjoy all of their favorite holiday foods when meeting with family and friends, but staying on top of one’s oral health throughout the rest of the week will minimize any long-term issues. Parents should plan especially healthy meals throughout the holiday season whenever they have a chance, and leave the sugary drinks and snacks to the parties and special events.
Keeping an eye on a family’s oral health does not mean that holiday traditions and foods must be completely ignored. By practicing moderation, developing good hygiene habits, and planning ahead, parents can keep their children cavity-free this year.