It’s not easy to stay healthy during the holidays. Sweets are everywhere you go, and with all of the present-wrapping and card-writing, there’s not much time to devote to you and your family’s health and well-being. Luckily, Trust Dental Care has teamed up with Santa’s elves to come up with tips for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy during the holidays.
We’ve come up with 4 great tactics to make an advent calendar dental-smart as well as 8 bonus tips to make your holiday seasons a healthy and happy one for you, your loved ones, and their teeth! Together we can make this holiday festive, fun, and full of healthy smiles!
A Healthy Advent Calendar
This Christmas, design your advent calendar without a focus on sugar and sweets by including the following activities:
Holiday Activity Fun.
For each day of the month come up with a fun holiday activity that you can do together as a family. Write down the activity on a slip of paper and tuck one note into each day of your advent calendar.
Find some simple trinkets to fill each day on your calendar instead of candy. The dollar store is a great place to find fun items without spending a lot.
A Puzzling Treat.
Give your child a fun challenge with a customized puzzle. Draw a picture or write a special message on a blank puzzle. Break the pieces apart and place one puzzle piece in each day of your advent calendar.
Nothing beats a good story. Pick out a holiday-themed book for every day of your countdown. Have your child open a new book each night at bedtime and read it together.
Eight Ways To Keep Your Teeth Healthy Through The Holiday Season
Keep Hands Busy.
Christmas is traditionally a break for children and adults from school and work commitments. While this is a great time to relax, too much downtime can mean overindulging in sweets and unhealthy foods. Engage family members and friends with games or toys. Offer sugar-free chewing gum while they play to keep both mouths and hands busy!
Protect your teeth during athletics.
The holiday seasons often come with extra time to pursue our hobbies, including sports. And while sports are very healthy, they can also lead to tooth damage. So, wear a custom-fitted mouthguard whenever you play sports – or reindeer games – this winter.
Avoid sodas, sports drinks and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water to keep your teeth strong and healthy. If you do drink sodas, use a straw and be sure to brush your teeth after you are done.
Watch the sweets and chocolates.
Many of us eat far too many sweets, chocolates and generally unhealthy foodstuffs regularly. During the holiday season this only ramps up. This increase in the amount of sugar we eat creates more acids and bacteria that attack our teeth and gums leading to tooth decay and eventually toothache. It may be unrealistic to expect to eliminate all sugars, but it is worth considering tooth friendly alternatives such as nuts and cheese that are less acidic and can help to avoid some of the damage that sugar can do.
Maintain your regular brushing and flossing routine.
Stick with your brushing twice a day (2 minutes each time) and try to brush between snacks if possible. One way you can do this is by keeping a travel-size toothbrush with you. If you’re not able to do this, another simple way you can keep your teeth clean and fight cavities is with sugar-free gum and plenty of water.
Make the holiday meaningful.
We often structure our holiday events around food, but this is good for your teeth or your waistline. To take the focus off of food, set up activities like board and card games, craft projects or holiday movie marathons.
Only use your teeth for chewing and smiling.
Far too many people use teeth to open packages, tear tape, cut ribbon, and perform other tasks that teeth aren’t designed to do. This holiday season, use your teeth only for what they’re meant for – chewing and smiling. Anything else will put your oral health at risk or even a dental emergency.
Carol while you clean.
Optimal tooth brushing last about two minutes so if you hum a few verses and choruses of your favorite holiday song while you brush, you’ll likely brush long enough to clean up your teeth and gums.