Holiday Candy and Children’s Dental Health
December 07, 2021 ABC Children's Dentistry
The holidays are here, and with them comes lots of fun things to eat. Many holiday treats that your children enjoy contain large amounts of sugar, both in liquid and solid form. These treats can have a negative impact on your child’s dental health, so knowing how to spot and limit treats that may promote tooth decay is one of the best gifts you can give your child this holiday season!
The Candy Conundrum
We all want our children to enjoy the holidays, and in many cases that means enjoying the sweet treats that abound this time of year. For example, many children are given candy during parties or at the houses of friends and relatives. While we do not want to deny our children these pleasures, we also want to be sure that their teeth and gums are going to stay healthy.
Here are a few tips for helping your children enjoy sweets but still maintain good dental health:
- Talk to your children about sugar. It helps to have a frank conversation with your children at an age-appropriate level rather than just saying “no.” Explain to your children that, while candy and sweets are not “bad,” they can cause tooth decay and other problems if eaten too often. Children will be much more likely to comply with limits if they understand why they exist.
- Limit sweets to a certain amount per day. There is nothing wrong with setting a limit of a few pieces of candy, a couple of cookies or a cupcake per day during the holiday season. Try to have children consume sugar later in the day; this makes them more likely to stop after just one serving, and allows time to brush before bed.
- Brush after eating sweets. No matter when your children consume sweets, it is important to brush soon after. If your children are old enough to floss, this is the time to do that as well. Brushing, flossing and rinsing removes most of the sugar in which plaque bacteria thrive. Without the sugar present, the risk of tooth decay goes down significantly.
- Use moderation. If you completely forbid sugar, it becomes a temptation. Instead, offer sweets in moderation and make it clear that there are ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay while still enjoying sweets. You can also offer other snacks, such as fruit or vegetables, that kids can have instead of sugary snacks.
At ABC Dental, we help equip parents with the knowledge they need to ensure that their children enjoy the very best in dental health. We not only provide safe, effective dental treatments but also support for parents to keep their children’s teeth and gums healthy and beautiful. Our job is to help you give your children a lifetime of good dental health! Give us a call today to schedule your child’s dental appointment and learn how easy it is to promote good oral health with your entire family.