Halloween has come and gone, but that only kicks off the holiday season. From this point on, children will have more opportunities to indulge their sweet tooth in a shorter amount of time than at virtually any other time during the year. That can make keeping their teeth healthy quite a struggle. So what can you do about it?
Be Strategic about Sugar
Sure, sugar is a major culprit in cavity development, but did you know that how you consume it matters too? As far as teeth are concerned, it’s better to consume sugary substances in a single sitting rather than to nurse them for hours or an entire day. This is because the acids that are produced by bacteria when they consume sugar take time to neutralize, a process that starts over again each time more acid is introduced (i.e. whenever you consume something sugary). Taking a strategic approach to sugar consumption can help keep your child’s teeth healthier.
Find a Balance
All of those family gatherings and celebrations that happen during this time of year make it difficult to regulate sugar intake the same way you can during the rest of the year. One way to help is to think of food intake throughout the day rather than a single meal. If you know there’s going to be a big celebration or gathering with lots of sugar, try to make the meals leading up to it more tooth-friendly. Offer plenty of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, cheese and dairy products to balance out the sugar that will be consumed later.
Get Creative with Food and Drink
Have you ever considered playing around with recipes to make them less sugary? Cutting out some sugar in different foods and drinks can be as simple as substituting certain ingredients for lower-sugar options. You could even swap the sugar out entirely for a different type of sweetener. Sweeteners like Stevia, sorbitol, saccharine, erythritol, and monk fruit are known to be non-cariogenic, which could make them an excellent choice if you want to cut down on cariogenic sugar intake.
Trying to prevent your child from having sweet treats and sugary drinks during the entire holiday season isn’t a feasible strategy for most parents. That doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to shelling out the money to pay for fillings at the dental appointments that follow. Encourage your child to be incredibly diligent about brushing and flossing. Don’t be afraid to step in and help them do a good job. Encourage them to drink plenty of water as well, and keep up with dental visits. All of these things will work together to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy this holiday season without the stress of telling them no every time they ask for something sweet.
Keeping up with dental visits is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth. Click here to get your child’s appointment with Stellar Kids Dentistry set up today!