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Christmas: protecting your kids' teeth

Keeping your kids' teeth clean and preventing tooth decay during the holidays can be a challenge. In fact, during this time of the year, children feel more "allowed" to eat candy, sweets and sugary drinks. In addition, normal dental hygiene routines are often interrupted during the holidays.

Kid's oral hugiene

Eating sugary foods and neglecting oral hygiene routines can cause serious problems in a a child's mouth. Children's teeth are also vulnerable to tooth decay, gum erosion and cavities. These problems can cause pain, inflammation, infections, and more. It is the parents and caregivers responsibility to teach children the correct methods of dental hygiene.

With Christmas just around the corner, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure that your little one's smiles remain white and healthy.

Tips to Keep Kids’ Teeth Strong through the Holidays

Practicing smart dental hygiene and choosing the right food and drinks is especially important during the holidays. Allow your kids to enjoy some Christmas treats, but with discretion.

Read these tips to protect your kids' teeth without taking away the fun of the holidays.

Rinse your mouth after drinking soft drinks

Between school parties and family home dinners, chances are your child will stumble upon some sugary or carbonated soda this season. While these drinks may taste delicious, sodas can damage overall oral health. The sugars in sodas and juices mix with naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. This interaction results in the production of acid, which destroys tooth enamel, stains the teeth and causes tooth decay.

Although it is best to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks until a much later age, if your child drinks some, it is advisable to have them rinse their mouth with water. By rinsing their mouth with water, any acid residue from the drink is washed away. The alternative is to use a straw that avoids direct contact with the teeth and the permanence of the liquid in the mouth.

Limit sugary sweets

Sugary foods and drinks wreak havoc on your teeth all year round. During the holidays, opportunities for children to eat "sweets" are even more frequent.

Here are some tips for reducing your sugar intake:

A trick is to propose a healthier snack. Cheese, for example, is a fantastic food for dental and bone health. It causes the mouth to produce saliva (which remineralizes the tooth enamel). So, for your children's snack, offer a plate of cheese, fruit, or even yogurt or other low-sugar dairy products.

Another tip is to avoid hard or chewy candies. These treats are terrible for children's teeth because they stay in the mouth for a long period of time. Chewing on them can break your teeth or damage your gums. Instead, it would be better to encourage children to eat more fruit. Make sure all food size is age-appropriate to avoid choking hazards.

If you think that it will not be easy to limit the intake of sweets to your children, a smart solution would be to protect the teeth from decay with dental sealants. Sealants are generally performed on the molars, as these are more at risk as they have deep and numerous grooves and are more difficult for children to reach with the toothbrush.

No matter where you are, brush!

During the holidays we often go out to dinner with friends or relatives; however, oral hygiene should not be neglected.

Let's make sure your teeth are brushed during the holidays by packing a travel kit with toothpaste, toothbrush, floss and mouthwash. An extra travel toothbrush should always be kept in your bag, briefcase or car.

Staying late at home with grandparents does not mean that children can avoid brushing their teeth. Preparing the right tools and encouraging other family members to keep up with their routine (even when you're not around) helps keep children consistent. For children of a certain age, in the absence of a toothbrush, you could opt to have them chew xylitol chewing gum at the end of the meal. This does not replace the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste, but chewing increases the secretion of saliva and contributes to the care of the teeth.

To make sure children brush their teeth at home during the holidays, make it fun. Consider buying a Christmas toothbrush with your favorite holiday characters or colors. Incorporate brushing into a game, story, or reward a week of good oral hygiene with a small prize. Choose a song to play only during teeth brushing time. Making it a fun event will encourage kids to embrace this habit twice a day.

Don't use your teeth as tools

December is the time for nuts and gift wrapping. What tools should be used to fulfill these tasks? Certainly not your teeth! Nuts should be opened with a nutcracker and duct tape, for gift wrapping, cut with scissors.

Using your teeth as a tool can cause cracks, breaks and gum injuries.

Educating children

Kids learn best by observing and doing. We often underestimate what they see and learn. It should be better explained why soft drinks are bad for the teeth and what it entails. You can use funny videos on YouTube that show children how to brush their teeth or ask Centro Andriolo for the brochure on "Oral Hygiene Maintenance".

It would be advisable to take your family for a pre-holiday check-up at Centro Andriolo.

We also recommend encouraging children to ask questions about the cleaning process and different foods to keep a healthy mouth. Learning is the first step in providing our children with adequate tools and methods for dental hygiene.

Schedule a pre-vacation check-up

Before the holidays, Centro Andriolo recommends a check-up visit for the whole family in order to enjoy a peaceful Christmas. We will be expecting you to wish you happy holidays.


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