As this week ends with the Thanksgiving holiday, many parents are busy shopping and preparing the family feast. Most likely this will include cranberry sauce, deserts, nuts and apple cider. While we want our children to enjoy this special family day, which revolves around food and festivities, there are some things we can do to make sure we are still aware of our children’s dental needs. There are also precautions and steps you can take to avoid tooth accidents or the onset of tooth decay.
Park View's Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry we love brightening children’s smiles and we feel that oral health education, including teaching how nutrition affects the teeth, is a big part of what we do. Even though many parents are super aware of their children’s oral hygiene during the year, sometimes the endless holiday “To Do” list may shift our focus away from our children’s precious teeth. At this time of the year, we always like to provide important reminders and some simple steps that will ensure that you are keeping those young pearly whites in tip top shape.
Here are some helpful holiday tips to keep teeth healthy this Thanksgiving:
1. Drink lots of water. Make sure children drink extra amounts of water during the entire holiday meal, especially during desert time, or if they are drinking apple juice or cider, which can have a high sugar content. This will act as a mini rinse to cleanse away food and desert particles and residue from fruit juice. Remember never to put any type of juice in a baby’s bottle, as they may fall asleep while drinking, and it can promote nursing bottle syndrome and the onset of severe tooth decay. Only put water in the baby’s bottle
2. Try to take a brush, floss, rinse break. If you can, especially if the meal is in your own home, try to take a “brush break” to counteract any excessive intake juices or deserts. This is especially important after that yummy, but teeth staining cranberry sauce is consumed, which also generally has a high sugar content. Colored sauces and berries are high on the list of foods that stain teeth the most, so their intake should be monitored. If you are visiting , you may want to do just a floss and rinse break, packing some floss sticks. There are also some good pre-pasted travel toothbrushes available that you can throw in your purse.
3. Watch out for those nuts! Often a large bowl of nuts in their shells is included on the holiday table. The last thing we would want is for the fun festivities to turn into a dental emergency. Please keep whole nuts out of the reach of toddlers. Make a game out of teaching older children to use a nutcracker. Several fun character nutcrackers, from squirrels to soldiers, are available to not only brighten the holiday table, but save young teeth.
Most importantly, smile and give thanks for friends and family. We wish you a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!
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