This time of year can be a challenging when it comes to healthy lifestyle habits. All those sweets, cocktails, and ubiquitous candy canes can take a toll on our diets. Another thing that Christmas can affect is kids’ dental health. Candy is part of the fun of Christmas, and with all the holiday activities, it is easy to let dental hygiene slip through the cracks. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can promote your kids’ dental health this holiday season.
Find Fun Stocking Stuffers.
Appropriate stocking stuffers can encourage your child to make routine dental care a part of his or her New Year’s resolutions. Fun kids’ toothbrushes, including ones shaped like movie characters, can make daily brushing much more fun. You could also consider flavored toothpastes made to please kids’ palates. Just make sure that any toothpaste you buy is ADA approved.
Make Brushing Part of the Holiday Fun.
Who wants to brush their teeth when there are trees to decorate, cookies to bake, and Christmas cartoons to watch? Try incorporating brushing and flossing into your Christmas routine. Put on a fun song like “Jingle Bell Rock.” Brush while you are opening up the next window of your Advent calendar, or tell your kids a fun holiday story as they clean their teeth.
Bring Santa into the Mix.
Nothing encourages good habits like jolly old Saint Nick. This time of year is a great chance to remind your kids that brushing and flossing gets kids on the “Nice List.” Skipping out on your dental care is definitely naughty!
Explain the Truth about Those Sugar Plum Fairies.
This time of year, there are literal and figural sugar plum fairies everywhere! When we’re not eating sugar, we’re watching visions of those sprites dance in our heads. Remind kids that, while an occasional treat is ok, too much sugar can harm their teeth – and their overall health. Make sure that they get plenty of fruits and vegetables in the midst of all their Christmas treats.
Don’t Forget the Peppermints.
Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without peppermint. Unfortunately, hard candies are one of the worst foods for kids’ dental health. As they on the candies, pure sugar remains in direct contact with their teeth for a long time. If your child is old enough, consider sticking some sugar free peppermint gum in his or her stocking. Sugarless gum can actually help keep teeth clean, removing bits of food if your child is unable to brush after an occasional meal. Just make sure that chewing gum doesn’t become an addiction. Too much chewing can strain the jaw, leading to TMJ Disorder.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE FAMILY DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.