The holiday season is upon us and while we all have some traditions we love to follow each year, we have some tips to help you be kind to your teeth these holidays.
While many people use an advent calendar as a fun way to build anticipation in the lead up to Christmas, there are now many other options to the traditional sugar filled treat to tick the days off!
Replace advent calendar treats with:
Story a day- ready-made advent calendars have books in place of treats which can lead to some quality time spent with the kids each day.
Puzzle creation- this can be as simple as a special message or picture that is broken into pieces. Place one puzzle piece in each day of your advent calendar. It could even be a cryptic clue to the present that is awaiting the child on Christmas morning.
Activity based treats- these could be notes about a fun family activity that you will do each day- think of making your own ornaments, putting up the tree, wrapping presents for others, or even taking a walk to a favourite location.
Try a Christmas box instead- gift the box at the beginning of the month or even each week and fill it with items such as seasonal movies, pyjamas, slippers and a mug for hot chocolate or eggnog to be enjoyed on Christmas Day.
How to keep your smile healthy these holidays
Carol while you clean: You should aim to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Pass the time by humming a carol or your favourite holiday song while you brush. If you’re feeling like some family fun (that may also involve a little mess) see who can brush their teeth while singing a carol the best. There may be some guessing involved to name the carol they are singing if they are brushing properly!
Set a time limit: It can be tempting to graze the delicious food that we often have available throughout the holiday season, but eating all day puts our teeth at more risk of decay. This is due to the bacteria that is left in our mouth for longer periods of time, leading to tooth decay. Set yourself some specific times of the day to set out food to eat, your teeth will thank you for it.
Focus on meaningful events, not food: We often base our holiday events on food, which can be bad for our teeth and other areas of our health. To take the focus off food, set up activities like board games and card games, craft projects or holiday movie sessions.
Watch the wine: Remember that beverages such as red wine can stain your teeth. White wine poses less of a risk to teeth. One tip if red wine is your choice over Christmas, drinking it with food can help to reduce the risk of it staining your teeth. And as always, brush your teeth well when you do drink red wine.
Fill up on fruit: We are lucky in Australia to have Christmas coincide with seasonally delicious fruit. Choose to fill up on fruit over the sugary desserts which are available. If you are hosting the meal, try making only one sugary dessert and instead pair dessert with platters of fruit and a cheese plate to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Protect your teeth: The traditional backyard footy or cricket game can often be played over the Christmas season. Be sure to protect your teeth from the wishful ‘professional’ players in your family with a mouthguard.
Indulge in veggies: At meals, aim to fill your plate with vegetables to help you steer clear of the sweet treats often available afterwards.
Be careful what you bite into: Some traditional Christmas food such as lollies, pork crackling or even nuts can be hard enough to crack your teeth. Test a small piece before biting down or try dissolving hard lollies in your mouth rather than chewing.