It’s October and we’re beginning the crazy descent into the holiday season. In just a few short weeks, haunted houses will spring up and ghouls and boys will start roaming the streets in their scariest costumes. Then it’s on to some delicious turkey, Santa, and plenty of holiday cheer.
The fall and winter holidays bring plenty of opportunities for fun, family, get-togethers, and delicious food. But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing…
WhiteWing Dental would like to remind all of our families in McAllen, La Feria, and the greater Rio Grande Valley that as the holiday season comes along, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to keep your teeth in tip-top shape and free of cavities.
The following tips will help to keep your pearly whites beautiful and healthy:
- Keep up with your routine (and make sure the kids do too). Regardless of the season – whether fall, spring, winter, or summer – you need to always maintain a healthy dental routine. That means brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. While the holiday season can be a bit hectic at times, you need to find the time to take care of your teeth. All those extra holiday treats can lead to some serious dental problems if you don’t.
- Attend your appointments. As most families tend to schedule one of their biyearly checkups during the summer, the 2nd trip usually occurs during autumn or winter. If you’ve scheduled your follow-ups during the holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation), it is absolutely vital that you attend these. Don’t let a trip out of town or family get-togethers stop you from visiting your dentist. You don’t want to go too long without a solid cleaning and checkup.
- Watch what you eat. Once Halloween comes around, there’s going to be plenty of treats, sweets, goodies, and desserts to go around. But don’t skip out on veggies and cheeses. Vegetables such as broccoli provide a healthy dose of vitamin A, which helps to strengthen teeth. Cheese is a great source of calcium and even acts as a little scrub, wiping away food particles.
While these tips work perfectly all year long, our McAllen dentists and La Feria dentists have a few others that will go a long way during Halloween.
Halloween Tips: Don’t Let You Kiddos Just Goblin Down Candies
- Pre-trick-or-treat meal. Feed your little ones a healthy meal before the big night out so they won’t binge on candy at home.
- Sticky sweets are scary. Gummies, taffy, and dried fruit can easily get stuck in the crevices of teeth. These sugary morsels are sure to draw in plenty of bacteria that can lead to cavities. Avoid them.
- Watch out for hard candies. They’re called jawbreakers for a reason. Hard candies can easily lead to chipped teeth or worse – choking. Don’t give them to your toddlers and keep an eye out when your children eat them.
- Set a limit. Planning on visiting only a limited amount of houses guarantees that you don’t get stuck with an abundance of candy. You can also use a smaller bag to trick-or-treat.
- The perfect time. Because saliva production increase during meals, it’s best to give your child a treat right afterward. The extra saliva will help to rinse away candy particles.
- You’re in for a fright with lollipops. Any candy that stays in the mouth for a long period of time increases the risk of tooth decay and plaque building up. Lollipops tend to be the main culprit but plenty of hard candies can cause the same problems.
- Brush after every treat. After any sort of treat has been eaten, your little one should brush their teeth for at least two minutes. And don’t forget that flossing should happen once a day.
Of course, we tend to look at Halloween as only a children’s holiday, but that’s not necessarily true. Plenty of adults love to get into the action of the season and take full advantage of the winter holidays – eating and snacking whenever the opportunity arises.
Adults need rules too.
While the season of Thanksgiving is definitely one to enjoy, even we adults have to be careful. Below are a few valuable tips our McAllen dentists will like to offer to help you keep your teeth healthy throughout the upcoming months.
- Keep some sugar-free gum on hand. The winter holidays means delicious dishes and overflowing plates. Popping in some sugar-free gum after a meal is a great way to dislodge food particles between teeth and increase saliva. This can help to prevent tooth decay.
- Don’t stain your teeth. With the cold weather, late nights, and get-togethers, adults are likely to sip a little more on coffee and wine. Just be mindful that these liquids can stain your teeth if aren’t taking care of them. Brush your teeth after having a drink.
- Your teeth are not tools. Whether wrapping presents or opening packages, many of us have a habit of using our teeth to tear, pull, or turn. This is the worse thing we can do as it can easily lead to a chip or break. Bottom line – don’t use your teeth as a tool.
- Sugar-free sweeteners are perfect for holiday recipes. Warm cookies and cakes are a holiday tradition in most families but those sugary treats can lead to an abundance of bacteria and tooth decay. Sugar-free sweeteners are an excellent substitute to reduce these issues and still give your dish a delicious taste.