At Cascadia Kids Dentistry, we love celebrating the holidays. From white elephants to fun Christmas sweaters, we are all about spreading joy. One thing we don't love seeing around this time of year is the increase of sugar bugs and tooth decay. While Christmas means an abundance of yummy treats (Christmas cookies, anyone?) it does not have to mean an abundance of cavities. Here are some ways to keep your teeth healthy this holiday season.
The Joy of a Healthy Smile
A healthy smile is truly a gift that keeps on giving - as long as you do your part in brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth. Want to make sure you reap the smile benefits in the new year? Follow these steps:
- Brush, Floss, and Be Merry - We all get busy during the holidays, but remembering to brush twice daily for at least two minutes each time, floss daily, and use a fluoride mouthwash can truly make a huge difference between a healthy smile and the start of a cavity.
- Say No to the Sugar Plum Fairy - Okay, you don't need to avoid the Nutcracker, but avoiding sugar during the holidays - or at least keeping your sugar intake to a minimum - will help keep the bacteria that produce tooth decay at bay.
- Joy to the Water - a really great way to improve your dental health - and overall health - is to drink more water. Not only does water help flush toxins out of your body, but a hydrated mouth keeps bacteria washed away from the surface of your teeth. Find a water bottle that you love as a Christmas present to yourself and tote it around during the festivities!
It is important to still enjoy your holiday - but choosing treats that aren't hard on your teeth or that don't promote cavity-forming bacteria is helpful. In general, avoid treats that contain caramel, toffee, or are hard candies. These substances can be difficult to wash away and the sugar crystals can get stuck in between your teeth. Brushing and flossing alone may not be enough to remove them. Here are some treats we recommend that can be fun and yummy for Christmas:
- Christmas Tree Veggie Tray - there are many variations of this on platforms like Pinterest, but designing a fun veggie tray in the shape of a Christmas tree is not only a healthy treat, but a fun activity!
- Milk Chocolate - many of us have a 'sweet tooth', but choosing sweets that are easily washed or removed is the best way to avoid cavities. Milk chocolate is a good option, as it melts quickly, can be washed out of your mouth with water, and is easy to brush or floss away after consuming.
- Sparkling Water with Cranberries - a beautiful beverage that will make you feel fancy is sparkling water with some frozen cranberries floating on top. This festive drink is delicious, healthy, and has an added sweet treat that won't do damage to your teeth.
Have a Very Merry Christmas
From the entire team at Cascadia Kids Dentistry - we wish you a happy, healthy, festive holiday! While we encourage you to schedule your routine cleaning and exam with us in 2023, we hope these tips help you avoid an emergency trip in the new year.