The holiday season is all about smiling — time off work and school, a chance to re-watch It’s A Wonderful Life, family traditions that only occur once a year, and presents under the tree.
It’s funny that the only thing we might not smile about over the winter holidays is our family’s dental health.
In addition to good tidings, joy, and new gaming consoles, the holiday season also comes with a deluge of sugars, starches, and alcohol. Combined with our tendency to leave daily routine behind (say, stay up later and not force the kids to brush their teeth), the holiday season can be a real Scrooge for dental health.
It’s not a matter of establishing a zero-tolerance policy with sugar. That’s not very realistic, for both adults and kids. Instead, keeping healthy teeth this holiday season is more about having proactive strategies in place.
If you’d like to schedule a cleaning after the holidays, contact Estrella Dental today! Our general dentist office offers dental exams for the entire family!
Oral Health Strategies From Our General Dentist
At Estrella Dental, we’re passionate about educating our patients so that they understand the importance of oral health — and can practice good oral hygiene between dental appointments. As such, we want to make these suggestions so your family can stay smiling this holiday season.
On The First Day Of Christmas, I Stuck To My Routine
We know that the holidays are an extremely tough time of year to stick to routine. Between overnight visits to the grandparents, holiday parties, and later bedtimes, adults and children alike fall out of routine.
Try to have your kids brush their teeth at the normal time. If you’re staying up later for Christmas Eve mass or reading “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” have your kids brush their teeth again if they’ve had sugary treats or hot chocolate. If you stick to the normal time, you’ll at least know that your children will have brushed their teeth before bed.
One Dessert Will Keep The Smile Bright
Yes, even dentists recommend eating one dessert — assuming the alternative is snacking on sugary treats throughout the day.
If your family is going to have sugar, it’s important to at least be smart about intake. It’s far better to limit yourself and your children to one dessert, ideally after dinner. That’s because we produce more saliva as we eat. When we eat dessert after dinner, our mouth is already primed to dissolve those harmful sugar particles. Plus, we’re more likely to drink water with dinner. Water also helps the mouth to break down sugar.
After dessert, have your kids brush their teeth right away. This will expose the teeth enamel to less sugar and (hopefully) ensure your kids don’t continue to snack until the wee hours of the night.
Deck The Halls With Toys, Not Lollies
Have alternatives beyond snacks around the house for rewards and holiday fun. Maybe make the gingerbread house one day, but have your kids do a fun holiday-themed puzzle the next. Instead of offering food as the only reward or activity, think beyond sugary treats.
You can have a holiday prize drawer stocked with fun toys, such as yo-yos, bouncy balls, and other sugar-free treats. Extend the same philosophy to stocking stuffers, as well. Include the traditional candy canes if you wish, but try to avoid loading it with only treats.
Visit Ol’ Saint Dentist
There’s no better time during the year than winter break to schedule your family’s general dentist appointments. For one, you and the kids are probably off work and school. It’s a lot easier to fit an appointment in when you don’t need to pull the kids from class.
This tends to be a busy time of year at the local dentist office, so be sure to schedule in advance! At Estrella Dental in San Diego, we have appointments available for the whole family.
We Wish You Would Drink Some Water
This tip is an all-season one, but it’s imperative to stay hydrated and to drink water during this time of year. Water, especially the fluoridated variety that you can find in tap and certain bottled waters, is an extra line of defense for your teeth. It strengthens enamel, washes away harmful particles, and encourages your mouth to produce more saliva.
Alternate hot chocolate, eggnog, and other sugary holiday drinks with at least one glass of water!
Our General Dentist In San Diego
If you’re looking for a general dentist for your family, look no further than Estrella Dental in San Diego. In addition to general dental check-ups, we also offer a variety of dental services such as teeth whitening, tooth extractions, teeth straightening, and much more.
Contact the dental office today to make an appointment!