Keeping Your Kids’ Smiles Healthy Over Christmas

Are you ready for the fun, love, and madness that follows the holiday season? Did you know that Christmas and similar holidays can be tough on your kids’ teeth? Call us today at 850-588-0185 and schedule dental cleanings and dental exams for your whole family. Professional dental cleanings can help prevent problems. Dental exams from our highly trained dentists can spot any problems before they grow big and expensive.

The Two Biggest Problems: Cavities And Gum Disease

No matter what holiday you celebrate, you’ll probably be having plenty of big meals, snacks, and festive drinks. That normally means lots more sugar than your kids normally eat.

Cavities and gum disease are caused by the same harmful bacteria. They survive on tiny food particles left behind whenever we eat. But sugar is the bacteria’s favorite food. As they grow, the risk of cavities and gum disease for your kids also grows.

That’s why you need to call our Panama City, FL dental office today and schedule dental cleanings and dental exams. Our hygienists can remove plaque and tartar where bacteria live. This can help prevent cavities and gum disease. If some of either does appear, our dentists have the expertise and training to identify and treat both dental health problems.

Helping Your Kids To Keep Their Smiles Healthy

Until you can come into our Panama City, FL dental office, here are some tips that can help you protect your kids’ teeth over Christmas.

1. Rinse after eating and stay hydrated.

Brushing your teeth after a meal is important — but acidic foods like fruit or vinegar coat your teeth with acid. That can damage your enamel. Brushing with the acid still on the enamel only pushes the acid deeper, causing more damage.

It’s much better to rinse with water after eating and brush after 45 minutes or so. In fact, staying hydrated can help as well. Saliva helps wash away food particles that feed those harmful bacteria. Not drinking enough water can reduce saliva production. Have your kids rinse then drink the rest of the water.

2. Give them something other than sticky desserts and treats.

Sugar is bad for your kids’ teeth, but some forms of sugar are worse than others. Take sticky desserts like ones with caramel or toffee. The longer that sugar sticks on your kids’ teeth and gums, the more it feeds harmful bacteria and increases their risk of cavities and gum disease.

Your kids should enjoy some sweet treats. However, holiday dinners are rarely at a loss for desserts. Let your kids enjoy some non-sticky options this year.

3. Throw out all the candy canes, even the small ones.

Speaking of types of sugar, the Christmas candy cane is almost pure sugar. It also turns to liquid sugar as you suck on it. In its liquid form, this sugar coats your kids’ teeth and gums. Would you let your children drink a small cupful of liquid sugar?

Besides, candy canes can get surprisingly sharp as the end gets eaten. This can hurt your kids’ gums. Although candy canes are a Christmas tradition, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate and enjoy the season.

4. Make sure they remember to keep brushing and flossing despite the chaos.

Things will get a lot more chaotic and distracting around Christmas. And if you travel to the grandparents this year, your carefully constructed routines will be disrupted.

Remind your kids to brush and floss like normal. One trick is to put their toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss on their pillows. That way, they can’t help but remember to clean their teeth before bed.

5. Make sure they do not use their teeth as tools

For kids, the best part of Christmas and the holidays is all the presents. Once they rip apart the wrapping paper, they might find a cool toy or game set in some plastic packaging. Those can be hard to open. Since scissors can sometimes be a problem, many kids are left to tear open a package with their hands — which means they often use their teeth.

That can damage their teeth or gums. Anything strong enough to need help opening it can easily cut your kids’ gums. Plus, if they slip while using their teeth, they can slam their teeth together hard enough to cause damage. Help your kids open their packages and never let them use their teeth as tools.

Call us TODAY at 850-588-0185 or use our convenient online form to make an appointment for dental cleanings and dental exams. Even if you had one a few months ago, Christmas can put your kids’ smiles at risk. Dr. Patel and Dr. Pappas have the advanced training you want for your kids’ dental health.

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