Updated: Dec 1, 2022
The holidays are a fun time of year full of activities, socializing, and delicious food. But rich foods aren’t always friendly to teeth. By following a few tips, you can teach your kids how to thoughtfully enjoy the bounty while still protecting their oral health.
Prepare for the holiday party at home.
Establish great oral hygiene habits. At home, the best defense you have against tooth decay is maintaining a twice a day brushing and flossing routine.
Schedule regular appointments. Do you see us twice a year for regular cleanings? Professional cleanings at the dentist office clear away plaque and provide preventative care that teeth need.
Enjoy the savory foods.
Drink more water and tea. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased. Drink more water and less juice and soda.
Don’t forget the healthy appetizers. When filling up the appetizer plate, fill it with nutritious choices, like cheese, yogurt, fruits, and crunchy vegetables.
Keep the main course lean. To keep your body, teeth and gums healthy, choose lean proteins, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. Encourage children to eat a good meal so there is less temptation to fill up on sweets.
Sweets are okay.
Time them with meals. When enjoying sweets during the holidays, keep the portions moderate and eat them during or shortly after mealtime. Your saliva production increases during meals, so by eating sweets along with other food, you help cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Pick the right sweets. Chewy treats and sticky sweets such as dried fruit can get stuck in your teeth, which increases the risk for tooth decay. Hard candies are full of sugar and are known to chip or break teeth. While it’s ok to enjoy sweets, just make sure to limit them and afterwards, rinse with water and brush carefully.
A sweet tip. Chocolate, pie, and cakes are in your mouth for a shorter period of time, which is less time sugar can hang out in your mouth and do damage.
Caring for teeth after a meal.
Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay. When you chew, saliva flow increases, which helps wash out leftover food.
Brush your teeth. Brushing and flossing after a meal is the best way to get leftover food and plaque off your teeth, which can prevent cavities.