School life’s everyday routines and patterns end as the holiday season rolls around. It’s essential to maintain your child’s dental health during this time. It’s a time to relax and enjoy, but knowing how to keep teeth safe and healthy in the season of sweet treats is also a great gift!
From ensuring they’re brushing regularly and effectively to finally finding the time to make an appointment with your dentist, here are some tips for looking after your child’s teeth during the festive period.
Keep a Good Routine Going
During the school season, waking up and going to bed follow the same pattern daily. It’s easier to slot morning and evening brushing into the same routine. However, the holidays can askew a regular schedule.
A top tip for the holiday season is to keep regular brushing at roughly the same times of day as during the school term. Not too long after breakfast is generally a good time for the first brush, while the last thing at night is the most important of all – this will stop bits of food from building up during sleep.
Building this common outside of the school term will help your child develop good dental care habits in the long run as they become more independent.
Practice Makes Perfect
The holidays are a great time to gift a toothbrush in your child’s stocking and show them how to brush with precision.
An expert tip is always to supervise your child’s brushing up to seven. However, you should also monitor their brushing after that age to ensure they’ve learned the essential steps of the routine.
You’ll feel more confident knowing that:
- They understand the right amount of toothpaste to use
- They’re covering their whole mouth
- They’re brushing for around two minutes consistently
There’s always plenty of delicious food during the holiday season and a vast range of sweet and sugary treats. While this is one of the reasons that children love this time of year so much, too many sugary snacks and fizzy drinks can cause lasting damage to your child’s teeth.
It’s a good idea to ensure that if they’re eating lots of sweet foods, they have an extra brush in the daytime, such as after lunch. It will stop the sugar from sitting for too long on the teeth.
If you’re concerned about your child eating incredibly sticky or chewy snacks, flossing is an option for slightly older children; your dentist can advise you about whether flossing is appropriate for your child.
Otherwise, limiting the number of mealtimes that fizzy drinks are on the table is also good practice; if your child had fizzy pop at lunchtime, make it milk or water at dinner.
Out and About
The holiday season can be an excellent time for playdates and sleepovers, making it a great time for a quiet night with a glass of wine and a good film!
If your child is spending the night at a friend’s house, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure they’re still taking care of their dental health:
- Firstly, a gentle reminder to clean their teeth before they go to bed is obvious; this puts the decision into their hands and shows that you trust them.
- Making sure that they take their toothbrush is also really important; you can include this with toothpaste and other bathroom products as part of a washkit if they’re going to have a bath or shower while they’re out.
- Finally, as a last check, ensuring you have a word with the responsible adult or babysitter is good. Ask them to provide your child cleans their teeth before bed, and report back if they refuse.
Time for a Checkup
Finding time for a dental checkup during the school term can be challenging. So while your child is away from school, it makes sense to take a day off, visit your dentist, and check that everything is in order. It is necessary to take your child to examine their teeth at least twice a year. Because most people make appointments in the summer, booking a checkup during the holiday season makes sense.
Arranging the visit well in advance is also highly recommended, as other parents will have the same idea!
Keep it Light
Of course, it’s important to remember that this is the season for merriment, and your child certainly knows this! It’s a crucial part of your child’s relationship with dental health that they don’t view taking care of their teeth as an unpleasant chore, especially during the holiday season when there’s fun to be had everywhere.
Consider alternative ways of teaching your child how to care for their teeth, like using games, arts and crafts, or songs to motivate them. If you need ideas, here’s how to get creative.
Never Be Afraid to Ask
While regular checkups with your dentist are vital to ensure you’re taking good care of your child’s teeth, it’s worth not waiting and getting to a dental expert as soon as possible if you have any pressing concerns. Our dentist in NW Calgary is happy to examine your child’s teeth and discuss your concerns.
You can explore our services here to learn more about the many top-quality services we offer at Valley Ridge Dental Centre. You can also get right in touch with us at our contact page.
Keeping your child’s teeth safe and ensuring they know how to care for themselves is something they will benefit from for their whole lives, so follow our top tips and book an appointment at Valley Ridge Dental Centre today.