Christmastime is supposed to be a celebratory time with loved ones, but with so many wonderful goodies to eat including holiday candy and cookies, it can also be a rough time on one’s teeth.
The last thing most people think about are cavities, especially children. One cavity can spell trouble for a child’s teeth down the line. West U Smiles has a variety of pediatric dentists to choose from who know how to keep children’s teeth strong and healthy so they will not experience any signs of decay. They can give your child a thorough cleaning prior to or just after the holiday season to minimize any damage from those tasty treats.
Our Houston pediatric dentists at West U Smiles have a lot to say about cavity prevention during the holidays.
Keep Sweets in Moderation
Christmas is neck-and-neck with Halloween when it comes to candy, sweets, and cookies. Sugar is hard on a person’s teeth, which can take a serious beating in the wintertime. Cabin fever sets in and you’re stuck at home with nothing to do. Sugar can cure almost anyone’s craving and alleviate some of that boredom.
With all of this said, it’s extremely important that you keep sweets in moderation. Only eat one cookie, drink water instead of a sugary beverage, and limit how much candy your child eats. This will keep your child’s teeth and their entire body much healthier. Eating or drinking too much sugar can disturb a person’s brain function, GI function, and sleep. Who wants a grumpy child at a holiday party? No one does.
Pack your Toothbrushes during Travel
As you’re traveling throughout the holidays, make sure you pack some toothbrushes and toothpaste. If you forget, be sure to purchase some as soon as you arrive at your destination.
This is very important because children will be going to bed later, and of course, they will want to skip their tooth brushing altogether. The excessive sugar coating on a child’s teeth could prove to be quite costly over time. Not only that, but their breath will smell quite foul, which would be quite unpleasant if your family is visiting with loved ones. A child’s tooth brushing habits should always be kept in check while you are traveling, which can be done by brushing twice each day using fluoride toothpaste.
Drink Water instead of Juice or Soda
Sugary sodas, hot cocoa, egg nog, and juices can wreak just as much havoc on a child’s mouth as sugary foods do. If it’s only a sometimes thing, that is fine. Hot chocolate in front of the tree can be a pleasurable feeling.
The rest of the time, however, children should drink water. It rinses extra-sugary buildup away and helps them limit their overall intake of sugary drinks.
Say No to Hard Candy
A child’s mother or grandmother probably carries a lot of peppermints in their purse. The sugar in hard candy can sit on a child’s teeth for a long period of time, and produce a harmful acid that could damage the enamel. Teeth could also crack or fillings could come out if hard candy is bitten into.
Case-in-point, don’t eat hard candy ever, and instead, use it to decorate a gingerbread house.
No Candy Before Bed
Sweet treats should be eaten with or after a meal. The reason for this is that a person’s saliva production increases and negates the harmful effects of bacteria.
Your children should never eat any sweets close to their bedtime because, as previously mentioned, any bacteria or sugar left on their teeth can spell trouble later on.
Visit West U Smiles for a dental checkup
We recommend that you schedule your child for a cleaning and checkup prior to the holidays. This will get your Christmas season off to the right start and ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and clean. Any trouble areas will also be identified during the visit. If needed, your child’s dentist can put a sealant on their teeth to protect them against any small food particles or plaque that a toothbrush may not often catch.
Likewise, having an exam prior to the holidays gives a child’s dentist a reference point for their teeth. If a child ends up with any dental problems after Christmas is over, the dentist will know how to handle them.
A child will tend to feel more at ease if they have seen their dentist previously than they would if they were meeting with them for the first time to fill in a cavity.
Christmas Can Still Be Fun!
Christmas is a fun, magical time for children all over the country. We’re not asking you to forbid candy or sugary drinks. It’s unrealistic and no fun at all.
As long as kids stick with their good brushing habits, and sweets and sugary drinks are kept to a limit, children can still enjoy what they like without ruining the health of their teeth. The rest of the time, make sure your children make healthy decisions.
Contact West U Smiles today before the holiday season begins so that your child’s teeth can be protected against cavities. We’ll be glad to offer you more information on how to keep their teeth clean and healthy, and schedule an appointment for them as well.