Tips for a Cavity-Free Holiday

Posted on December 4, 2019 | Hot Topics

Tips for a Cavity-Free Holiday

From managing sports schedules, to helping with homework assignments, to playing referee in sibling rivalries, we know you give your best effort to caring for your family. The same goes for their dental health, which is why we want to make sure you have everything you need to succeed. Since holiday sweets can be tough on teeth, here are some things we think you should know:

  1. Caries (also known as cavities or tooth decay) are a chronic and infectious disease which occur when sugars mix with bacteria to cause erosion of the tooth structure. Based on a recent study in 2018, 18% of children ages 2-5 and 45% of children ages 6-11 have been affected by tooth decay, while the number increases to 54% for kids who are between the ages of 12-19. Caries are a concern for our kids.
  2. Risk factors for cavities include consumption of sugary food and drinks, lack of dental hygiene, lack of fluoridation (or the administration of water and fluoride to reduce tooth decay), chronic illness, enamel defects, and some medications.
  3. Little cavities affect more than just little teeth. Since the mouth is the gateway to overall health, children with tooth decay are at a higher risk for pain and serious infections, not to mention disruption of sleep, delayed development, and a myriad of other issues.

Now that you understand why the holidays can be hard on teeth, here are some tips to have a dentist-approved December:

  1. Steer clear of sticky snacks. Many people reach for dried fruit as a healthier snack option, but remember that sticky foods often stick to teeth longer than other foods. Make sure your family rinses with water if they indulge in a sticky snack.
  2. Slow down the starch. Starchy foods can be sneaky because they tend to get stuck in your teeth. Remind your family to floss in order to remove food particles that lead to plaque build-up.
  3. Eat sweets with your meal rather than after. The excess saliva will help wash the sugar off of your teeth so it doesn’t linger longer.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Among other health benefits, water will clear food particles away from your teeth during the day while keeping your gums hydrated.
  5. Brush your teeth often. An easy way to fight holiday cavities is to brush your teeth anytime you eat something sweet. This is a good habit for children and parents alike!

Lastly, remember to have fun this holiday season! You’re doing a great job raising your kids, and they’ll remember the steps you took to keep them healthy and happy. Have a cavity-free holiday from our family to yours!

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