You survived the ice cream of the summer and the candy of Halloween, and now the pie and well-cooked sides of Thanksgiving loom large. The holiday season can be a tough time for dental health because of the sheer amount of food that you end up bathing your teeth in, and the smooth, tooth-sticking dishes like pumpkin pie and marshmallow-topped sweet-potato casserole don't help. You've got ways, though, to keep your and your children's teeth in great shape.
Now's the Time to Demonstrate Good Dental Practices
Now is a great time to review how to take care of teeth with your kids, even your older kids and teenagers. Demonstrate again how to brush and floss, and remember to set a good example yourself. Don't go to bed without having brushed and flossed so your children can't accuse you of not following your own advice. If you have any questions or want to add in an appropriate non–alcohol based mouthwash for your children, contact your dentist.
Raw Vegetables, Plain Fruit Salad, and Cheese Platters
Raw vegetables like celery and carrots can help clean your teeth by wiping off food residue as you bite into the vegetable. Keep lots of washed, crunchy vegetables around—also try radishes, turnips, jicama, and more. Plain fruit can help as well as long as you don't dip it into chocolate sauce or other sugar syrups. Semi-hard cheeses like cheddar help both with surface cleaning and by building up calcium stores.
Water, Water, Water
Have lots of water available for drinking. The water will help wash food residue off teeth and keep your body working better by keeping it better hydrated. If you live in an area where water doesn't taste that good, and you don't want to deal with keeping too much extra bottled water on hand, get lemons, limes, or oranges from the grocery store and slice one up every day. Keep the slices in the refrigerator for anyone who needs to flavor their water. Berries and cucumber slices work rather well, too, though once you eat those after drinking the water, you end up with more food on your teeth.
If your children have questions that you can't answer, call a dentist, such as one at Dentistry For Children & Adolescents, and set up a time for an informational appointment. Your dentist is going to be only too happy to help you and your children protect their teeth over the holidays and beyond.