Beth E. Kailes, DMD • Nicole M. Staman, DMD • Allison J. Johnston, DMD

Beth E. Kailes, DMD
Nicole M. Staman, DMD
Allison J. Johnston, DMD

Keeping Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time spent with friends and family and eating delicious foods. Everyone enjoys cookies and candies, but too many sugary sweets and treats can cause tooth decay.

child brushing teeth after eating holiday treatsTooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives the bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities begin to form.

Here are a few tips from Growing Healthy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy during the holiday season.

  • Monitor your child’s candy consumption by allowing treats in moderation. Keep cookies and candy out of sight by storing them in a sealed container and establish set times when your child can have a treat.
  • Save treats like candy, cookies and pies for after mealtime since this is when the amount of saliva produced in the mouth is greater and will better help protect your child’s teeth.
  • Mix in healthy snacks. A balanced diet is one that includes cheese, fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meat, milk and yogurt.
  • Hard candy can get stuck between teeth, which can cause cavities. Flossing daily can help remove these candy particles.
  • Brush immediately after eating and gummy or chewy treats as they tend to stick to teeth and cause more damage.
  • Substitute regular candy treats with treats that contain xylitol.

We hope these tips help your child’s teeth stay as healthy as possible. If you have any tips you’d like to add, we’d love for you to share them with us on Facebook!