Parent Guide to Keeping Your Kids Cavity-Free During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and while that means a lot things to look forward to like a slower pace, family fun and good food and drink, you do need to make sure you and your family don’t overindulge in all the sweet goodness.

With all the cookies, candy, hot chocolate and other sweet treats that we all love during the holiday season, it is no wonder that our kids are more prone to get cavities during this time.

Don’t worry though. There are ways to protect your children’s teeth while still letting them enjoy this special time of year. Here is your Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Cavity Free during the Holidays:

Help Your Kids Stick to their Routine

The holidays are for staying up late and sleeping in, right? There is nothing wrong with that, but you have to be careful that you don’t skip out on your normal morning and evening routines. Even if your kids fall asleep on the way home from a late holiday party, make sure they brush their teeth thoroughly before collapsing in bed. And the same thing in the morning. Let them sleep in a little, but still make sure they brush their pearly whites in the A.M.

Make Sure They Are Getting Their Greens

A little indulgence isn’t a bad thing and while you are at parties and family gatherings it will certainly be difficult to monitor everything your kids put in their mouths. So what can a parent do? Don’t stress too much. Just make sure that the rest of the day they are eating healthy and in moderation and are getting their daily portions of fruits and vegetables. It will help balance out all that chocolate at grandmom’s!

Don’t Skimp on those Zzzzz’s

While you might not be able to stick completely to your kids’ normal bedtime schedule during the holiday season, you should still make sure they are getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age. Studies upon studies have emphasized the importance of sleep to our overall health, including our oral health. Protect your kids’ oral health by making sure they get enough sleep each night. If you all have a particularly long night, let them sleep in the next day or make sure they nap during the day.

Keep up with Dental Appointments

During this hectic time, it is hard to remember dental and doctor appointments you have scheduled, but it very important that you do. If your kids have a dental cleaning scheduled, keep it. The cleaning is important for keeping your kid cavity-free even with all the over indulgences of the holiday season.

And if your child’s dentist recommended braces at the last visit, this could be a good time to get started on orthodontic treatment. Straighter teeth means less food particles getting stuck in your kids’ teeth and less gum inflammation. Why wait to get them on the path to better oral health?

Besides the traditional metal braces, most orthodontists also offer clear ceramic braces, Invisalign aligners and lingual braces. There is no one choice for everybody so make sure you get evaluated and talk to your orthodontist about which type of treatment is best for your particular situation.

Metal braces

  • These are permanently adhered to your teeth and can only be taken off by the orthodontist at the end of treatment
  • The orthodontist tightens the wires during treatment to help shift the teeth
  • There are certain food and drink restrictions with this treatment
  • May have to wear them for 3 or more years depending on how your treatment goes
  • Most bite and alignment issues can be treated by metal braces
  • Kids and teens love using different colors of ligature ties.

Invisalign

  • They are clear plastic aligners that can be easily removed
  • Can be removed to eat and to brush and floss your teeth
  • Treatment includes a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth shift into proper alignment
  • Invisalign can also handle both simple and complicated alignment issues

Lingual Braces

  • They are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front making them practically invisible to the people around you. They are made up of brackets and wires like traditional braces, but because of their positioning, they are more discrete.
  • Some bite conditions that cannot be treated with lingual braces. Patients with a deep overbite are not good candidates for lingual braces because the overbite might put too much pressure on the brackets leading to the brackets falling off.
  • Not all orthodontists offer this type of treatment. It requires special training because the wiring work is more intricate than it is with traditional treatment.

Ceramic Braces

  • Ceramic braces use a combination of wires and clear ceramic brackets to make the braces less noticeable in the mouth.
  • You get the benefit of traditional braces but in a less obtrusive way.
  • Keep in mind though that staining from food and drink is more of an issue with ceramic braces.

Finding the Orthodontist

When you start looking for an orthodontist, make sure you schedule a few consultations before you make a final choice. This way you can get all your questions and concerns addressed and get a good feel for how you and your child will be treated by the staff and how advanced the treatment options are at that particular office.

Here are some questions you should ask:

  • What are their credentials and specialties?
  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • What are their office hours? (Some are more flexible than others)
  • What are treatment options and costs? Ask about Invisalign and accelerated orthodontics.
  • Ask for references from current or past patients.
  • What is their policy for emergencies?

Consider Damon Orthodontics for your child’s orthodontic needs. They are a top orthodontist in Spokane. They offer a variety of treatment options including Invisalign and lingual braces as well as affordable payment options. They have three offices in Spokane, Spokane Valley and South Hill.

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