The holiday season is here – Thanksgiving was just the start. Now Christmas and Hanukkah are not far behind. That means there’s going to be plenty of temptation out there. No, not the temptation to try to find out what gifts you got… but the temptation to eat a lot of sugary foods. That goes for both adults and children. It’s delicious… but it can be tough on your teeth if you’re not careful. What can you do to monitor your children’s teeth during the holidays?
Candy canes will be a treat for many kids during this month. The thing to remember is that they should be treated like really long jawbreakers. Just suck on them until they get really thin and then can easily broken apart and crushed with the tongue against the roof of the mouth. Trying to bite on them, especially those really big ones that are around two inches thick, invite nothing but tooth-damage.
Monitoring your children’s teeth-brushing habits takes precedence throughout the year, especially after the likely bountiful haul of sweets they pulled in during Halloween, but December is a very tempting month as well – ranging from shelves and shelves of those aforementioned candy canes that hit the stores to near endless baked goods and cookies. Those can all offer enticing reasons for kids to eat a lot… and possibly decay their teeth at a seemingly alarming rate.
So it falls upon you to make sure that your children are brushing their teeth properly for two minutes, with toothpaste. It’s important that they get all four quadrants of the mouth with good form. An electric toothbrush could work best here, since all they really have to do is move the toothbrush around their mouth. Otherwise they invite oral trouble by letting sugar coat their teeth and cause trouble down the road.
It’s not just brushing that is needed – flossing is too, since there are bits and pieces that can nestle their way in cracks that are missed by even the best electric toothbrushes. Watch your children’s flossing habits. It’s only a few minutes but they can pay off with really good dividends… like not having to pay for expensive dental procedures down the road.
Of course, the best way to do this is to set a good example for your children… by brushing your own teeth and flossing after eating any treats. Then your whole family can have teeth as shiny as the North Star.
Dr. Shaista Najmi and her staff at Ivory Dental Jacksonville would like for everyone to have a great holiday season. They just want their patients to have good oral health while they are at it.