How To Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets

With the constant influx of candy, cookies, and other sugary treats, the holiday season can take a toll on teeth. This is especially true for children, who would probably subsist on the sweet stuff if they were allowed. As a parent, you need to take extra steps to protect your kids from holiday sweets before their next dental visit.

You can also make sure that any extra holiday plaque is taken care of by scheduling your kids’ next dental cleaning at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

Ways to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets Ahead of Their Next Dental Cleaning

Ration the Sweets

It is impossible to keep holiday sweets from your children completely, but you can lessen the negative health impact by dolling candy out over a long period of time. If you give your just a few sweets every couple of days, they’ll see it as a special treat and not a regular part of their diets. It can also be a fun way to count down the remaining days until they get their real gifts.

Be Wary of Hard Candies

All sweets can promote plaque buildup, but hard candies, like candy canes, pack extra risks. Children often lack the patience to wait for these candies to dissolve naturally, so they bite down. Doing so may lead to them breaking or chipping a tooth. Limit hard candies when possible and encourage kids not to bite.

Don’t Let Them Crack Nuts With Their Teeth

Your kids may be tempted to try to crack nuts open with their teeth after they see holiday nutcrackers do the same. Like hard candy, this also puts them at risk for fracturing teeth. Unlike hard candy, nuts are packed with healthy proteins and nutrients you want your kids to consume. Just make sure to give them pre-shelled nuts.

Their Teeth Aren’t Box Cutters

Children are often so enthusiastic to break in their new gifts, they throw all manners to the side and dig into the packaging with their teeth. This can lead them to damaging their teeth, cutting their gums, or getting something lodged between their teeth. When it comes time to open presents, keep a pair of scissors handy and brace yourself for flying wrapping paper.

Maintain a Routine

With all the traveling that comes with the season, it can be hard to maintain a regular schedule of brushing twice and flossing once daily. Unfortunately, it can be hard getting back into a habit once it’s broken. Make sure your kids brush and floss at around the same time every day, even when you’re on the road.

Schedule Strategically

Experts recommend you take your child in to see a pediatric dentist once every six months. You can get more out of these visits with smart planning. Schedule one of their regular dental cleanings for one of the weeks after the holidays. This will help them eliminate all the extra candy plaque and start the new year with fresh smiles.

Contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your child’s dental cleaning to help them recover from the deluge of holiday sweets.

How Parents Can Encourage Proper Dental Care for Their Kids

family brushing their teeth, good pediatric dental care

 

Any parent knows it can feel impossible to get kids to do what you ask. When your child is a toddler, you’re likely brushing their teeth for them. Eventually, they reach an age where they start to take care of their own dental care.

Having them take care of their own oral hygiene is easier said than done when taking care of teeth gets in the way of play time. We’ve compiled some easy ways you can encourage proper pediatric dental home care for your kids.

Tips To Help Parents Encourage Better Pediatric Dental Home Care

Pediatric dental care is all about setting up good foundations for dental health as an adult. A major part of this is scheduling regular cleanings and checkups, but good home care matters even more. That is why the first few years your child is brushing their teeth for themselves are so important. They’re establishing habits that will they will stick with for years.

Lead from the Front

You shouldn’t ask your child to do anything you aren’t willing to do yourself. Be a model for your child to follow. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and eat a healthy diet. Your children admire you, and people learn most of their behaviors from their parents.

Make sure your kids see you brush and floss regularly. Let them in your bathroom when you’re getting ready in the morning. They’re picking up more from you than you think.

Answer “Why?”

Your son or daughter likely bombards you with dozens of questions a day, and most of them are probably the same one: “Why?” They’ve certainly asked this more than once about dental care.

Encourage this creativity. Tell them why brushing and flossing are necessary. Just make sure not to make it scary.

Children can have a hard time conceptualizing the invisible benefits of pediatric dental care. Invest in some plaque disclosing tablets, which temporarily dyes plaque bright colors. This makes it real for them by showing them the gunk they brush away every morning and night.

Give Them Ownership of Their Dental Care

Your little one will be a lot more likely to keep up with brushing if they feel some ownership in over the activity. Letting your child choose their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and rinse cup gives them a part in making decisions about their dental care.

Let them choose a brush with their favorite cartoon character or toothpaste that comes in a flavor they like. The minty taste of most adult toothbrushes is too harsh for kids. Childrens’ options come in milder fruit flavors. Just make they choose a fluoride toothpaste.

Turn Brushing into a Game

Anyone who has transformed a spoonful of peas into an airplane knows the benefits of visualization and playing pretend with your kids. Use a similar strategy for brushing time. Have your child make believe that the brush is a high-powered laser beam that takes out the alien invaders in his mouth. Base the game around their interests or favorite shows.

If the game doesn’t work, try writing a toothbrushing song for them. Pick a well-known melody and make up some lyrics they’ll enjoy. Make the song about brushing, family, pets, or something else in their life. You can also use one of these already written songs.

Make a Checklist and Offer Prizes

When all else fails, it may be time to resort to bribery. Make a checklist of morning and nighttime chores, and make sure brushing and flossing are included. When they complete a task, have them come to you to check off the activity on their list.

Every day they complete the list, give them a ticket to exchange for a prize at the end of the week. These can be anything. Trips to the park, visits with friends, and video game time all work great. Just make sure your prizes aren’t tooth decaying snacks like candy.

By using these simple tricks, you can instill good dental routines in your kids that will last them a lifetime. Another good pediatric dental care habit to start on early is regular check-ups and cleanings. Schedule an appointment for your son or daughter at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry in North Carolina.