With the upcoming holiday season, you can’t help but indulge your children with candies and sweets. But do you think about the holiday cavities that might come with it?
According to Academy of General Dentistry spokeswoman Dr. Connie White, sticky and chewy candies can cause cavities. In fact, gummies, taffy, and caramel can get stuck in the pits and grooves of the teeth and cause all kinds of problems.
We like to refer to them as holiday cavities.
And during this time of candy-coated everything, the team at Your Caring Dentist Group would like to be considered your holiday dental office.
Holiday Cavities Are a Real Thing
With all the sweets around this time of year, holiday cavities have a habit of popping up for a couple of reasons:
- Eating more candy than usual
- Candy sitting on and in teeth for too long
Let your children enjoy your treats and keep their oral environment healthy at the same time by teaching them the importance of brushing. Right after eating their candy, encourage kids to brush their teeth. And that goes for you too.
The longer candy, or any food for that matter, sits on your and your child’s teeth, the more damage it causes. It isn’t something to panic about, but after your child eats candy, have them brush as soon as they can.
That way, you all can have your treats and not have to pay the price at the dentist. Because nobody wants that.
Encourage Good Habits
To make brushing more enjoyable, buy the fanciest, most colorful and interesting toothbrush to make your child excited it. And don’t forget those cute little bathroom rinse cups. Your kids will love them.
One thing that kids hate when it comes to brushing their teeth is the minty flavor of toothpaste. Some children — and even adults — find that the mint flavor can burn sensitive mouths. We suggest that you bring your children toothpaste shopping. That way, they can choose their own toothpaste flavor. There are a ton of different ones out these days, including fruit flavors.
Let them choose what they want, and they’ll be more enthusiastic about using their oral care products.
It’s not all about brushing
Parents should also remember to teach their children the importance of rinsing. If you think there are a lot of choices when it comes to toothpaste, the same holds true for mouthwash.
And here’s the great part: Mouthwashes made for children are not only alcohol-free, but if they accidentally swallow a bit, it won’t hurt them. Not that they should get into that habit, but a small amount of swallowing while they’re learning won’t hurt.
Here’s something you might not know which could fight those holiday cavities — children should start rinsing their mouth with special mouthwash at about six years old.
And let’s not forget the floss. It’s important to get into areas between those teeth, and flossing is the only way to get there. You can offer the kind you wrap around your fingers, individual flossers in all kinds of fun shapes, or handled flossers for a better reach.
And a great way to encourage great habits is to practice right alongside them.
Choose These Treats for the Holidays
As your holiday dental source, we have to talk about treats for your kids during the holidays. These treats won’t add to the danger of holiday cavities, and they’ll satisfy your little ones.
If you don’t want to risk giving your children tooth decay indirectly, choose a sugar-free and all-natural gum that is sweetened by fruit juices. That will help eliminate food particles stuck in between the teeth and will satisfy that sweet tooth. How? They stimulate saliva production which prevents tooth decay and actually prevents cavities.
Here are a few sweets that won’t completely ruin your teeth:
- Oatmeal cookies
- Jelly thumbprint cookies
- Pumpkin pie
- Chocolate-covered strawberries
Colgate has all the details on sweets and holiday meals to help stave off any holiday dental issues.
In addition to that, consult your one of the fine professionals at Your Caring Dentist Group about other kinds of food that you can give your children that won’t harm their teeth and end up as dreaded holiday cavities. And book a post-holiday cleaning to help prevent them.
Here’s what we know
Kids are going to eat candies. Not only that, kids are going to eat more candy and sweets during the holidays than at any other time. Right?
So, try not to fight it too much. You can be proactive with the smart sweets above, but the fact is, they’re going to eat the other sweets too.
It’s nearly impossible for your kids to say no to candies from their loved ones and friends this holiday season. But the trick to stopping those holiday cavities from starting is to encourage great holiday dental care. And that starts with habits from home.
Your Dentist Is There to Help
Dentists get a bad rep. There’s a lot of fear associated with making dental appointments. But there’s no need to be afraid because your child’s dentist is there to help. Practice a solid dental routine and visit your dentist every six months — holiday or no holiday.
And if you have a question about holiday cavities or anything else regarding the health of your child’s mouth, give us a call. We are more than happy to assist you. Nobody wants holiday cavities or any other cavities for that matter, so the best thing is to avoid them altogether.
A Holiday Plan
Go into the holiday with a plan for your child’s oral health. Maybe you’ll choose special candy or try to avoid every candy out there during the holiday. But if you find out you can’t, keep holiday cavities to a minimum by encouraging good oral care habits.
Bringing your child to our kid-friendly practice is also one way of monitoring their oral health. We can ensure that they will get all the proper care you know they need.
Enjoy the holiday, and we’ll see you in the office!
Are you afraid of holiday cavities? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!