Just when you thought you were in the clear for your children’s teeth with Halloween over, the sugar craze is on the rise with the holiday season in full swing. From October to January, the holiday season is filled with celebrations that almost always include sweets. To keep your kids smiling through the new year cavity-free, we have some special tips and tricks to keep your family’s oral health routine up despite the holiday break.
The holiday season is a great time for parents and caregivers to establish, reinforce, and maintain healthy dental habits as a family. Holiday food and festivities can quickly put teeth at risk of cavities and tooth decay so practice moderation and always remember to brush and floss daily.
We are dedicated to keeping your family’s teeth at their healthiest and understand that presents and shopping can be difficult this time of year. We are here to help, with a few recommendations for gifts that will yield benefits now and in the future. We don’t mean for you to have a dental-centered Christmas, but a few of these stocking stuffers can bring great holiday cheer!
- Sonicare toothbrushes – These brushes remove more plaque buildup than other brushes and make for healthier gums. They are also great options for those with sensitive teeth. Sonicare offers an entire range of youth products, with some that even connect to an app that can help encourage your child to continue good oral health habits.
- Electric toothbrushes – Electric toothbrushes are handy for all ages and can make brushing fun for younger children. Most feature timers to ensure you are brushing for the recommended time, 2 minutes during each session. Some even feature pressure sensors to prevent your child from brushing too hard and upsetting or damaging their gums.
- Novelty toothpaste – Though they are not practical for everyday cleaning, they can make a great gift for occasional use. Novelty toothpaste can come in a variety of flavors such as bacon, pickle, Oreo, cupcake, and more. Just be sure to use your ADA approved toothpaste every other day to ensure you are cleaning your teeth properly.
- Colgate Wisps – These are portable, disposable toothbrushes that do not require any water or toothpaste. These are great for quick on-the-go breath freshening and cleaning.
- Mouthguards – Mouthguards or mouth protectors are great gifts for young athletes. A mouthguard is essential to protecting your child from dental and facial injuries. They come in all shapes and sizes and can even be customized with team colors.
- Oral health books – Younger children may enjoy oral health books that can teach them about tooth care or removing the fear from dental visits. These friendly books can help your child overcome anxiety and become more engaged in their dental routine.
During the holidays, many families travel across the country to visit their loved ones. If you and your family are traveling this year, be sure that everyone packs a dental kit to care for their teeth while they are away from home.
- Travel Bag – Buy a fun travel case or small bathroom storage bag that makes your child excited about starting their dental routine. Try decorating it with stickers and your child’s name.
- Toothbrush – When buying a toothbrush for yourself or your child, buy a brush with ADA approval and one that fits comfortably in hand. Toothbrushes should have round soft bristles with a head that makes navigating the mouth easy.
- Interdental brushes – For those with braces or other oral appliances, interdental brushes can help. Interdental brushes are similar to toothbrushes but instead have a cone-shaped head with fine bristles designed to between teeth and behind brackets. These brushes often come with several replacement heads in various sizes to guarantee the right fit.
- Toothbrush case – Don’t forget to buy a toothbrush case or cover to keep the head clean and bristles in good shape while it is stowed away.
- Toothpaste – Buy an ADA approved toothpaste in a flavor that your child will enjoy. Children should avoid using whitening toothpaste unless approved by a dentist as the toothpaste may contain harmful abrasives for their growing teeth.
- Floss/floss threaders – Brushing only cleans part of your teeth. You should floss once a day to clean between your teeth. If your child is still young, you may need to help them floss. Floss threaders can help navigate your mouth with floss easier if you have oral appliances or experience difficulty using string floss.
- Tongue scraper – Tongue scrapers are great tools to help you get rid of bad breath. Tongue scrapers work as described to scrape away bacteria on the surface of your tongue. Do not use too much pressure and remember to rinse the scraper after every use.
Making brushing and flossing a family activity will help your children enjoy dental hygiene and make them more likely to keep up with a healthy routine into adulthood.
We know it can be easy to get carried away during the holidays, but practicing moderation and maintaining a well-balanced diet greatly helps in avoiding the pain of cavities or tooth decay during the season. Remember to schedule regular checkups and cleanings so we can thoroughly evaluate your smile and provide treatment as needed.
For more information on keeping your family’s teeth cavity-free this holiday season, contact Children’s Dentistry of San Diego today!