‘Tis the season to… celebrate healthy teeth! Even though holiday parties won’t be occurring in the traditional sense to wind down 2020, we know that modified, outdoor (brrr!) and remote gatherings are the new standard. With the new standard comes the desire to make year-ending festivities as normal and reminiscent as possible. So what exactly are we saying here? Food. The holidays are about peace, love, joy… and FOOD!
In order to keep your teeth, your children’s teeth, and the chompers of all your loved ones healthy as you eat & treat your way through this holiday season, there are several factors that you can incorporate into your holiday routine for a healthier smile:
Set Some Ground Rules
Let’s face it; when there’s a mouthwatering spread staring you down at a holiday party, it’s hard to put a firm stop to continuous grazing. We know, food is always better when it’s prepared by someone else; and food is always better when it’s so cute & tiny (think: cocktail hour at a wedding). However, if you don’t give yourself, your kids or your festivity frolicking sidekick a pep talk before you hit the table, then you may find yourself in more trouble than you anticipate. So set some ground rules & consider eating some healthy snacks (with a theme!) before party fare makes an appearance so that you don’t overindulge, resulting in a happy stomach and healthy teeth.
Stick to Your Brushing & Flossing Routine
Did someone say “broken record”? We’re dentists; healthy teeth are our passion. What other tooth care tip did you expect from us? But seriously; maintaining your brushing and flossing routine is imperative throughout the holiday season. Because you’re probably around more food than you are during a regular day, it’s important to brush at least every morning and every night for two minutes each time. And don’t forget about brushing’s pal, floss. All that sweet, sticky goodness you’re munching on this month? Well, it could do you a lot more damage if floss wasn’t the superhero that it is.
Avoid Too Many Sugary Foods
A cookie or a sweet here and there is more than acceptable. After all, we’re human too, we all get cravings and most of us need a little sugary kick to get through the day every now and again. BUT, try to adopt an all or nothing approach in the sense that you allow one treat that’s a little “extra”, as the kids say, per celebration rather than continuous sugar shocking throughout the day. Too many sugary foods can have a detrimental impact on your tooth enamel and can cause cavities, so you always want to try to be mindful of what you’re consuming.
Offer Healthy Substitutes
Now we’re not recommending that you offer Brussels sprouts in place of gingerbread cookies (though secretly, we don’t hate the idea), but we are simply suggesting that there be an array of fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks available to accompany your smorgasbord of “good stuff”. It may also be worth your while to point out these healthy alternatives to your kiddos so that they’re aware that there’s more than just sweets to choose from. It’ll work; right?
Tooth-Friendly Holiday Gifts
They say there’s nothing better than the gift of giving. And we agree! You know what items make for great stocking stuffers or other holiday-centric presents? We’ll give you a hint: they help to promote healthy teeth. You guessed it – we’re talking floss, mini mouthwashes, flavored toothpastes, toothbrushes with characters on them for the youngins or electric toothbrushes for the teens. Who says oral health can’t be FUN?