December is the month of sweets! to more sugar than usual and, often, a change in your schedule and overall diet. Today I’m sharing 5 pointers for a happy, healthy mouth during the December holidays!
- Are Your Children Up-to-Date on Dental Visits?
With school break generally lasting two weeks, December is a perfect time to schedule your child’s twice-yearly dental exam. Call us early, however, as this is a busy time for our office!
- Do You Have a Dental Travel Kit?
Having a dental travel kit makes it easy to keep all your supplies within reach on trips away from home. We recommend you create a kit and keep it in the suitcase ahead of time. Include travel-sized mouthwash, floss, and a toothbrush for each member of your family. And don’t forget about new convenient options like disposable toothbrushes that can be carried for “in-between” brushing on the go. Your kids will love owning their own dental kit, so help them choose a special brush and mini-toothpaste just for their time away.
- Be Sure to Protect Those Toothbrushes
Travel and hotel bathrooms mean extra handling in the luggage and on sinks in places that may have bacteria, which can find its way onto your toothbrush and, therefore, into your child’s mouth. There are numerous types of toothbrush covers to pick from but remember to dry out the brush before putting into the cover to avoid enclosing brushes in warm, damp places that encourage bacteria to grow.
- Time to Watch What Your Children Eat
I know my pediatric dental patients’ parents are committed to limiting sugary drinks, snacks, and desserts but it’s more difficult when traveling and especially during the holidays. Instead of fighting the trend, I suggest that you do your best to be sure your child eats at least two servings of fresh fruit and veggies each day, and that they rinse their mouth after they eat sweets. It won’t solve everything, but it does help keep sugar from penetrating the enamel! You have a little more control over “car treats,” so I do recommend you pack low-sugar options like fresh fruit & crudités like carrot sticks, along with pure, bottled water.
- Stick With Your Child’s Oral Health Routine
It’s easy to forego brushing and flossing when your child’s schedule is “off,” which can include falling asleep on Grandma’s sofa in front of a movie. I know we hate to wake them up to brush, but t’s important that all of us, including our children, brush and floss before sleeping. If you make this a family activity, a way to talk about the day’s events, it can even be fun!
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable winter holiday! We look forward to seeing you next year!