Sweet Treats and Healthy Teeth: A Kid’s Guide to Dental Care During Christmas

Sweet Treats and Healthy Teeth: A Kid’s Guide to Dental Care During Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly and enjoy some sweet treats! But while Santa fills your stockings with chocolate and candy canes, it’s important to keep your oral health in mind with our guide to dental care during Christmas. So, don’t let cavities or plaque buildup ruin your Christmas – explore our guide to maintaining healthy teeth without missing out on all the fun.

Dental Care During Christmas

Christmas is a time of indulgence, and it’s easy for little ones to get carried away with all the delicious treats and evenings filled with sweets and family-favourite films. However, sugary snacks and drinks are just as damaging to dental health over Christmas as they are at any other time of year, so it’s important to monitor the sugar consumption of your children and put limits in place to protect their teeth and gums.

When children eat sugary treats, the bacteria in their mouths produces acid to break down the sugar, which steadily attacks the tooth enamel and results in tooth decay and cavities. This is particularly damaging to adult teeth, which usually come through by the age of 7, as badly decayed adult teeth can often require surgery or even extraction. To avoid these problems, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, even during the Christmas holidays, and to implement these top tips.

Christmas Oral Health Tips for Kids

While it’s perfectly fine for children to enjoy some sweet treats during Christmas, it’s important to do so in moderation and take care of their oral health. Here are some tips for kids to maintain their oral health without compromising on the fun this festive season.

  • Brushing and Flossing: Make sure that your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day over Christmas, with no exceptions. Without a school schedule, and with all other family members off work over Christmas, it can be very easy for a child’s daily routine to break down, so a little reminder can go a long way in maintaining their dental well-being. It is also a good idea to encourage them to floss daily as well, to remove food particles and plaque from between their teeth and keep their smiles healthy and bright.
  • Limit Sugary Treats: Whilst you can’t limit sweet treats too much over Christmas, consider mixing in some healthy alternatives like fruit and nuts or cheese and encourage your children to enjoy the sugary snacks in moderation, as well as encouraging them to enjoy these treats after a meal, rather than as a standalone snack.
  • Drink Water: Help your child stay hydrated this Christmas by encouraging them to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only does water help wash away food particles, but it also dilutes the acids in their mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay during the festive season.
  • Visit the Dentist: Schedule a dental check-up after the holiday season to prevent any dental issues down the line, catch any issues that have developed over Christmas, and ensure that your child’s teeth are in good condition.

By following these tips, kids can enjoy their Christmas treats while keeping their teeth and mouths healthy.

Christmas Dental Care for Toddlers

For toddlers and very young children, implementing a comprehensive dental routine is essential to protect their health and care for their developing teeth, so here are some tips for the little ones this Christmas.

  • Supervise Brushing: Young children will need assistance with brushing their teeth until they are able to do it properly on their own, so make sure to supervise their brushing routine and encourage them to brush for at least two minutes.
  • Choose Age-Appropriate Treats: When selecting stocking filler snacks and treats for young children, opt for options that are less sticky and sugary, and be sure to avoid hard candies or treats that may damage their new baby teeth and cause a buildup of plaque.
  • Offer Healthy Snacks: Keep a variety of healthy snacks available during Christmas to encourage children to make better choices, including soft fruits, vegetables, and cheese as a softer and easier-to-eat alternative to sugar.
  • Make Oral Hygiene Fun: If this is your child’s first Christmas with developing teeth, then use Christmas-themed toothbrushes or toothpaste to make brushing more engaging, as this will encourage them to develop lifelong good habits. You could also incorporate Christmas songs or festive games into their oral hygiene routine to make it enjoyable and less of a chore for your children.
  • Educate About Oral Health: Take the opportunity during the holiday season to teach children about the importance of oral health by reminding them how sugary treats can affect their teeth and encouraging good dental habits.

Caring for Braces over Christmas

Children with braces need to take extra care of their oral health during Christmas, including:

  • Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods: Encourage your little one to avoid sticky candies, caramel and hard nuts that can damage their braces or get stuck in them and remind them to be careful and avoid damaging their braces or wires.
  • Brush and Floss Properly: Brushing and flossing become even more important for children with braces. Whilst they may be tired after a busy day, and reluctant to give their teeth the thorough cleaning that they need, be sure that they regularly clean their teeth and braces to prevent plaque buildup and lingering sugar.
  • Carry a Repair Kit: If your child stays with friends, or you all visit relatives over Christmas, then pack them a small brace care kit, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and interdental brushes for cleaning their braces on the go.
  • Schedule Orthodontic Check-ups: Regular visits to the orthodontist are essential to keep your child’s treatment on track, so schedule an appointment for them after the school holidays to check their braces and alignment.

By following these guidelines, children with braces can enjoy their Christmas holidays without damaging their aligners or compromising the progress of their treatment.

Kid’s Dental Care for Healthy Teeth

As children immerse themselves in the joy of Christmas, it’s important to balance the fun of indulgence and treats with their long-term oral health. So, let the Christmas cheer fill your hearts, but also take care of your little ones’ smiles with our tips for maintaining healthy teeth, and don’t forget to book your little ones in for their first dental appointment of the new year.