Enjoy the Holidays, Skip the Cavities

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year!’… especially for holiday treats and candy! While it’s quite nice to enjoy this season’s treats, keep these tips in mind to ensure your children enjoy the spirit of the season – without the toothache!

  • Make sure your child maintains a balanced diet. While sweets abound during this time of the year, try to limit the amount of sugary and starch-filled goodies given to your child. Try some sliced fruit, raw vegetables with dip, string cheese, and yogurt, instead.
  • Encourage good oral health habits with your children, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. If sugar is not removed with brushing, it can remain in the crevices of your child’s teeth long after sweets have been consumed.
  • Have your children use an age-appropriate mouthwash in the evening to strengthen their teeth and rebuild the enamel, which helps prevent cavities.

Also, keep Christmas lights and electrical cords out of the reach of children – especially infants who may be crawling and can put items in their mouths, explains Richard Mungo, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at CHOC Children’s and Medical Director of the Healthy Smiles for Children of Orange County Oral Health Care Center. He has treated children who have suffered burns to the side of their mouths due to chewing on these cords.

Remember, your children’s dental care is an important part of their overall health, during the holidays and year-round! “It’s really never too early for parents to take an active role in preventing tooth decay in their children—even before kids get their first tooth,” says Dr. Mungo.

For more tips to protect your little one’s teeth, check out the latest issue of CHOC’s Kids Health newsletter: http://www.choc.org/publications/articles.cfm?id=P00303&pub=KH&aid=537

For more information on CHOC Children’s Pediatric Specialties, visit http://www.choc.org/specialties/index.cfm?id=P00414

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