Children are more susceptible to cavities than adults. Even in children with healthy teeth, the enamel in their primary, or baby, teeth is much thinner that in adults. Once decay gets through this layer decay moves faster too.
Protect Your Children’s Teeth During the Holidays
Holiday treats and foods that are not part of the child’s normal diet can increase the possibility of decay. A few simple steps can protect their teeth and eliminate future dental problems.
Sugars and starchy food promote the growth of bacteria that cause decay. By limiting the amount of sugar, your child consumes the likelihood of tooth decay decreases. Even during the holidays, when chocolate and treats abound, you can reduce the effects of sugar on children’s teeth by:
- Allowing them only one dessert
- Preventing between meal and all day snacking on lollies and chocolate
- Brushing as soon after consuming sweets as possible to remove bacteria
Maintain a Regular Dental Care Routine
Holiday activities and visits can upset daily dental care. Don’t allow the distractions of the season to cause your child to neglect their teeth. Plan a dental care routine during the season and maintain it. When traveling, make sure you have children’s toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss available and ensure they use them, brush together as a family and talk about what exciting things you all did together!
Avoid Crunching Ice and hard lollies
Teeth are not ice smashers. Over time regular ice chewing can crack enamel and chip teeth. Try to avoid giving your kids chewy toffee type lollies especially straight from the fridge. They have proved that sticky sugars are the worst for causing tooth decay and lost fillings. Keep in mind that an emergency visit to a dentist may be difficult during the holiday or while traveling.
Maintain a Child’s Overall Health
Physically healthy children tend to have better dental health as well. Make sure that during the holidays along with a limited intake of lollies and chocolate, they receive plenty of healthy, nutritious foods and veggies. Eating healthy crunchy fresh salads should be one of the great pleasures which we should be teaching our children to enjoy! Dr Jest loves his beetroot and fetta salad.
Don’t Skip Dental Appointments
With the seasonal rush, it may be tempting to skip regular dental appointments. Children’s teeth require regular exams. Don’t allow holiday events to place their dental health at risk. It is a perfect time to visit when you don’t have school or homework to worry about.
Protecting children’s teeth is essential to their future dental health. The habits of good dental care become a foundation of dental health throughout childrens adult lives. Care of the baby teeth is essential to give the best chance of avoiding crowding of the permanent teeth as they erupt. Sound dental practices now, even during the holidays, will strengthen children’s teeth and promote healthy adult teeth. Be that good example and floss and brush your teeth with your children – that will encourage you too not to eat any more before going to bed – that’s got to be good for your holiday waistline too!