A children’s dentist’s top tips on healthy teeth this Christmas
Christmas is right around the corner (13 more sleeps!) and for the UK’s children, this is absolutely too long to wait. The anticipation is building for presents, great food, and good company, and no doubt you and your family will be treating yourselves to some more indulgent foods. Family-size chocolate barrels are being bought in bulk and are passed around in front of the television, leading to us eating far more sugar than we would do on a regular day. How can we protect our children’s teeth while still encouraging them to enjoy their Christmas break? Here are some top tips from a children’s dentist on how to keep your kids’ teeth healthy and happy this holiday season!
Monitor fizzy drink consumption
Fizzy drinks like lemonade and colas should be saved for special occasions or big dinners, such as every Sunday evening. However, at Christmas they are flowing far more freely because every day during the Christmas holidays is a bit of a celebration! Our favourite carbonated drinks contain a lot of acid and sugar, however, so constantly sipping on them during the day and at meal times could be causing some serious damage to your child’s teeth. Just one drink drunk rather quickly and not ‘nursed’ isn’t as bad as continual drinks that are sipped at throughout the day. This is because the latter option increases the frequency of drinking the sugars and when they come into contact with your children’s teeth. The sugars and acids will erode the protective enamel and even bring on the development of cavities and tooth sensitivity. Of course, we all want to enjoy Christmas and of course the fizzy drinks will flow, but there are some tips to introduce to your family to encourage healthier teeth. Give your children a fun straw to drink through, because this streamlines the drink and lessens its contact with tooth surfaces. Also, encourage them to have a glass of water, even if its small, between fizzy drinks so that they are essentially rinsing their mouth of any residual acids and sugars.
Watch that sweet tooth
Selection boxes, chocolate oranges, and tubes of assorted sweets are every child’s favourite stocking filler. Chocolate for breakfast? It must be Christmas! We know there are a lot of different edible treats bought for Christmas presents (and not all of them are for the children) but we should also be keeping an eye on these too. Similar to carbonated drinks, chocolates and sweets are rich in sugar. If you’re partial to sour sweets, these are also increasingly acidic. Boiled sweets are one of the main culprits of residual sugar because of how they dissolve in the mouth, giving a concentrated dose of sugary saliva to your teeth until they completely melt away. However, chewy sweets like gummies are also not getting off scot-free! How our children eat these sweets is very important to consider because, much like fizzy drinks, its actually how we eat them rather than eating them in the first place. If you condense a sugary snack into one sitting or helping, then you are exposing your teeth to sugars and acids once within that time frame. If you are constantly grazing and picking at sweets throughout the day, you’re keeping your teeth topped up on sugar levels for longer periods of time. Allow your children a little bit of fun but try and encourage moderation and a designated snack time once or twice a day to save their teeth from cavities and the need for children’s fillings. We’re always here for your family, but make every visit to our children’s dentist rewarding by lessening the need for more restorative treatment.
Most important tip from our children’s dentist: brush your teeth!
We at Blossom Dental Care wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t remind you to brush your teeth every morning and night. However, this is mightily important during the Christmas holidays. Routines are sent out the window with you all off work and school, bed times get a little later, and your diets change. With all of the excitement of Christmas, children get tired and are often zonked out by bed time. The temptation is so high to just let them sleep all of their festivities off, but this could seriously damage their teeth. After days of sweets, chocolates, and fizzy drinks, residual sugars and acids will eat away at their teeth overnight and increase their risk of cavities. Always encourage brushing your teeth before bed to save your children from the need of fillings and dental work.
Have a wonderful Christmas from all of us at Blossom Dental Care, and if you’d like any further tips from our children’s dentist in York then enquire online or call 01904 654889 to speak to one of our dental elves.