Now that you have survived Halloween and Thanksgiving, the winter holidays and all their freshly baked goods threaten to undo all the hard work you’ve done to keep everyone’s teeth healthy and clean. Here are some tips on setting positive dental habits for the whole family that will carry over into the New Year.
It’s important you get your kids started off on the right foot when it comes to taking care of their teeth. If they’re old enough to do it themselves, make sure they’re brushing their teeth both in the morning and before they go to bed. You can even make it fun by getting them a unique toothbrush and toothbrush holder as well as toothpaste that tastes good. If it helps, let them pick a song to play while they brush so it takes their mind off the mundane task and ensures they are brushing for the required amount of time. There’s power in watching your example, so do it together. If you have a pet, let them help you brush theirs at home or tag along to the vet or groomers to see how it’s done. There are also dental games and videos they can play online to help instill the values of a healthy mouth. During the holidays try and limit their sweets and be proactive by making a trip to the dentist.
It is critical that a young adult takes care of their teeth properly while they are being treated for realignment. That being said, maneuvering built in retainers and braces can be quite the difficult task. Make sure to help them thread the floss between the wires of the braces so that they can get to the gum line. Teenagers should also clean their retainers often by soaking them in baking soda. The holidays may mean that more brushing is required to keep sugary foods from getting stuck and having a lasting effect on the condition of their treatment.
Sensitivity and enamel loss can occur over time as an adult so don’t overdo it this holiday with coffee or other acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Instead drink lots of water and care for your teeth regularly by brushing and flossing after each meal. Your dental hygienist may recommend a regular fluoride treatment to help strengthen teeth and reduce your risk for decay. Treating cavities and gum disease after neglect of your oral health can be costly and time consuming. For that reason, it is wise to invest in preventative oral health visits and regular cleanings.
Keeping up with dental care becomes all the more important as you age. Your medication can cause an array of side effects, thus complicating your normal routine. Be sure you consult with all of your doctors and especially your dentist on what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if brushing and flossing your teeth become difficult tasks. Cary Family Dental offers free consultations to patients who may need tooth replacement options, including next-day dentures.
Try and enjoy the holiday season without reckless abandonment and overindulgence. Keeping up and establishing healthy dental habits now will pay off in the future and allow you to reap the benefits of a beautiful smile.
-Article by Dana Brown