There are endless jokes made about how your family dentist in Raleigh doesn’t like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas because of the vast amounts of candy, cookies, and other forms of sugar that folks consume around those holidays. Of course, your dentist would have to be a true grinch to tell you and your family that you should avoid eating sweets during December. On the flip side, for some people it does take a little more effort to keep those teeth clean and healthy when there is more sugar around. Today, your family dentist in Raleigh, NC provides some tips for parents as they try to help their kids keep their oral health in top condition—during the holidays and all year round as well.
Brush and Floss
Unfortunately, there is no “secret weapon” to protect kids’ teeth against cavities during the holidays…the best defense is the same advice that your dentist and his assistants give you all the time. Brushing and flossing with good technique on a regular basis are critical for removing residue from food and drinks before they can set in and cause damage. These activities can be more difficult for kids to maintain during the holidays, with parties, traveling, and other out-of-the-ordinary events changing the family schedule around. That’s why it is even more important that parents check up with kids and make sure they are keeping up with their oral hygiene.
Routine is incredibly important for kids. If brushing their teeth is an absolute daily activity that happens at exactly the same times every day, it will be easier for them to remember to do it on their own. Conversely, if they only brush/floss when mom and dad tell them it’s time to do it, chances are when they are at the grandparents’ or cousins’ house for a sleepover, they won’t remember on their own.
Earlier we mentioned that your family dentist in Raleigh doesn’t have a “secret weapon” to protect against cavities. While that’s true, there is an exciting additional service that can give your kids’ teeth an extra line of defense against decay. Sealants create a temporary barrier against illness-causing bacteria, supporting regular oral hygiene habits to keep children’s teeth healthy while they navigate the critical early growth periods. The staff at our office would be glad to tell you more about sealants, how they work, and how they can help your family.
Observe and Encourage
During their early years of life, the teeth of children undergo major changes. That can be scary for them, and it’s very helpful for parents to be closely involved, preparing them mentally for the process of losing their baby teeth and gaining their permanent teeth. Once those permanent teeth start coming in, parents should pay close attention to how they look. Spotting alignment and other kinds of issues early on can help your family dentist in Raleigh address them and correct them before they become more serious. Along those lines, be sure to also schedule and keep regular dental checkups during these formative years, so that your dentist and his assistants can monitor the healthy growth of those new permanent teeth.
Enjoy the Holidays!
It is possible to enjoy the special treats of the holidays without jeopardizing your oral health—the key is keeping up with the good oral hygiene habits that you’ve established during the rest of the year. If you recognize that your family is behind on establishing those habits, there’s no better time to do that than the present! If you already know that it will be an uphill climb to get your kids into the routines, consider sweetening the deal with some incentives—fun toothbrushes, mouthwash products, and flossing aids help kids look forward to toothbrush time. You could even offer a bigger prize for kids that remember to brush and floss a certain number of days in a row, which they can record on a special calendar with fun stickers (another incentive in itself!).
To schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Raleigh, NC, just give us a call or email us today. We’re here to help you protect your family’s teeth against decay during the Christmas season and all year long.