The holiday season has arrived, and if you’ve caught your kids regularly swiping an extra gingerbread man from the cookie jar, you may be worrying about their teeth. Nobody wants their kids to have a mouth full of cavities, so here are so useful tips for maintaining excellent oral hygiene over the holidays.
Pack a Toothbrush & Floss.
Whether you’re staying at Grandma’s an hour away or flying halfway across the country, make sure your child’s toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss are packed. Alternatively, you can ask grandma to pick some up, so you don’t need to worry. If your child doesn’t adapt to change well, it may be better to just bring the toothbrush, paste, and floss they’re already familiar with.
Rinse with Water.
Every time you see your kids try to sneak a ginger snap (or another holiday treat), make sure they wash it down with a cup of water. The water will rinse away all the crumbs and most of the sugar. This will leave less food for bacteria and keep their mouth safer from cavities. Plus, with their belly will be full of water, they’ll probably eat fewer cookies, and they’ll also be exceptionally well hydrated.
Instead of cookies, try to encourage your kids to eat cheese. Most kids love it, and there’s cheese at nearly every holiday event. Hard cheeses, like cheddar, are a great choice because the natural sugars from the milk are consumed in the cheese making process. This means the cheese scrubs teeth clean without leaving any sugar behind for bacteria to feast on. Plus, the calcium in the cheese is great for developing bones and teeth.
Make Brushing Teeth Fun.
We’ve met a lot of exhausted parents who are tired of the tooth-brushing wars that rage on every morning and evening in their home. Instead of trying to reason with your two-year-old, we suggest reframing teeth brushing as an activity most toddlers adore tickling. Instead of brushing their teeth, you’re tickling their teeth. You can make this more explicit by saying, “tickle-tickle-tickle” as you brush and taking breaks every 5-10 seconds to tickle their belly or toes. You can also look up a number of toothbrushing songs to make this activity more fun for everyone.
While the occasional slip up isn’t going to land your child with a bunch of cavities, it’s really important to maintain good habits over the holidays. We hope these tips help and let us know if you have any questions about keeping your child’s teeth shiny white!