Maintaining good oral care during the holidays can be tough with the bombardment of sugary sweets, sticky food, and delicious drinks during the season. Counting down to Christmas with an advent calendar is a fun activity for your kids, but if they are filled with chocolate and sweets, it won’t be so great for their teeth.
So, at Smart Smile Dental we’ve come up with 4 great tactics to make an advent calendar dental-smart as well as 8 bonus tips to make your holiday season a healthy and happy one for you, your loved ones, and their teeth!
An Advent Countdown With Less Sugar And More Fun!
Consider the following:
- Colour-In Christmas Tree – On a large sheet of paper, draw out a Christmas tree with 24 ornaments on it, big enough for your kids to colour in. It doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect… it’s the thought that counts! Number each ornament, and then every day, have your child colour in and decorate the ornament of the day. On Christmas Eve, you’ll have a fully decorated tree!
- A Puzzling Treat – Give your child a fun challenge with a customized puzzle. Draw a picture or write a special message on a blank puzzle. Break the pieces apart and place one puzzle piece in each day of your advent calendar.
- Holiday Activity Fun – For each day of the month come up with a fun holiday activity that you can do together as a family. Write down the activity on a slip of paper and tuck one note into each day of your advent calendar.
- Story-A-Day – Choose a holiday-themed book for every day of your countdown. Have your child open a new book each night at bedtime and read it together.
Your Bonus Holiday Tips!
- Be careful with candy. Hard candies can crack your teeth if you bite down on them in the wrong way. If you do ear hard candies, instead of biting, let them dissolve in your mouth. Forcing to bite them down can break or crack your teeth. Broken or cracked teeth can be very painful and is a dental emergency addressed at Simply Smile Dental. Also, be certain to brush your teeth after eating sugary foods of any kind, and only eat them in moderation, if at all.
- Carol while you clean. Optimal tooth brushing last about two minutes so if you hum a few verses and choruses of your favorite holiday song while you brush, you’ll likely brush long enough to clean up your teeth and gums (be sure to brush your tongue too).
- Watch the sweets and chocolates. We all know that most of us eat far too many sweets, chocolates and generally unhealthy foodstuffs at this time of the year. This increase in the quantity of sugar consumed is likely to create more acids and bacteria that can attack our teeth and gums. Consider tooth friendly alternatives such as nuts and cheese that are less acidic and can help to avoid some of the damage that sugar can do.
- Set a Time Limit. It’s really tempting to graze all day during the Christmas season, but this puts our teeth more at risk of decay. Instead of leaving food out until all hours, set up specific times of the day to set the table for people to eat. This will help keep everyone from constantly reaching for food that’s high in sugar and fat.
- Practice Moderation – Moderation is an important concept that can be hard for kids to grasp. Set a good example by exhibiting balance, especially on your plate. Christmas treats are great, but don’t forget to “indulge” in foods that will help absorb all of that sugar.
- Maintain your regular brushing and flossing routine. Also, try to brush in between snacks if possible. One way you can do this is by keeping a travel-size toothbrush with you. If you’re not able to do this, another simple way you can keep your teeth clean and fight cavities is with xylitol
- Give up on grazing –At the holidays, we often have spreads of food left out all the time. Grazing all day can put your teeth at greater risk for decay. Instead of leaving out things to nosh on, only put out food at mealtimes and then stash the food away.
- Drink water. You need a lot of energy for holiday activities, but avoid drinking sodas, sports drinks, and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water with fluoride in it to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
The holidays are a great time for friends and family, make sure they are a great time for your dental health as well!
The Smart Smile Dental Advantage!
To enhance the overall look of your teeth as well as your overall dental health, visit your Deer Park dentist at Smart Smile Dental and let us help you have anxiety-free dental care! At Smart Smile Dental experience the benefits of a healthy and good-looking for your lifetime!