How to Enjoy Holiday Treats and Prevent Cavities

how to enjoy holiday treats and prevent cavities - thoroughdent smiles

The holiday season is almost here, and this period comes with lots of treats ranging from Halloween candy to Christmas cake and everything in-between. Those delicacies are heaven to the taste buds of your child, but all that sugar puts your child’s teeth at high risk for cavities. However, you and I know that an outright ban on sweets isn’t feasible or even desirable, so your local Georgetown dentists, Dr. Kristina Neda and Dr. Jordan Smith, have put together the following tips to help prevent cavities as you and your family enjoy holiday treats.

Cut Back on the Sugar Intake

One easy place to prevent your child from developing cavities during the holiday season is by reducing the amount of sugar that the child consumes. This method works because the more sugar the child consumes, the higher the risk of cavities developing. One way suggested by a dentist in Georgetown, KY, is to give your child snacks that are tooth-friendly. These include cheese, carrots, and apples.

Alternatively, you can select a small plate and inform your child that he or she can only eat the sweets which can fit on that plate. In this way, you will have restricted how much sugar they consume, and that will, in turn, lower the risk of cavities.

Consider How Long Eating Lasts

Dr. Kristina Neda, a pediatric dentist in Georgetown, KY, reveals that the duration of a given snack takes in the mouth plays a big role in the level of risk for developing cavities. For example, a candy cane that can be sucked on for more than half an hour is more damaging to the teeth than several pies eaten in a few minutes. 

This is because the longer the candy cane stays in the mouth, the more likely cavities will. For that reason, keeping your child away from hard candies that spend more time in the mouth and instead of providing treats that are eaten immediately is a way to avert cavities while at the same time indulging in holiday treats.

Rinse the Mouth 

We asked our friend, Dr. Brian Leeson, a dentist in St. Petersburg, Florida, about how to enjoy holiday treats and prevent cavities. Dr. Farhat recommended an old trick. He says after you’ve indulged in some treats, drinking or rinsing your mouth with water. If you don’t have time to brush their teeth, then drink water. Dr. Farhat explains that taking a drink of water helps to rinse all the sugary remains from the teeth. In this way, the formation of plaque will be slowed, and your child will face a reduced risk of developing cavities.

Brush After Indulging

A drink of water may not do a comprehensive job of getting rid of all the sugar bugs on your child’s teeth, which is why Georgetown KY dentists recommend brushing the teeth after eating those sugary snacks.

However, there is some science in selecting the timing of when you brush your teeth after eating sweets. Dr. Kristina Neda says that the acids in sugary treats soften the enamel on the teeth. When you brush while those acids are still at their strongest, you risk eroding the softened enamel, and that is bad for your teeth since once enamel is lost, then it cannot be restored.

The best thing to do is, therefore, to wait for a minimum of half an hour after eating sugary snacks. If you had rinsed the mouth or taken water while you were eating the snacks, most of the sugars will have been washed from the teeth. The 30-minute wait gives saliva a chance to reduce these sugars and acids even more so that by the time you brush, there is no risk that the tooth enamel is still soft.

Visit ThoroughDent Smiles

One of the tried and true ways to keep cavities at bay is by visiting ThoroughDent Smiles, a dental office in Georgetown, KY, for a dental cleaning at least once every six months. During those visits, Dr. Kristina Neda, Dr. Jordan Smith, or any member of the team at the dental office, will clean your child’s teeth. A fluoride treatment may also be recommended, and this will protect the teeth from damage by plaque-causing bacteria. It is wise to time the dental visit just after the holidays so that the damage from all those treats can be attended to in a timely manner.

As you can see, holiday treats don’t have to ruin your child’s teeth if you know how to prevent cavities. At ThoroughDent Smiles, we understand that cavities can still develop despite your best efforts to prevent them. So, we are available round the clock to treat those cavities promptly so that they don’t turn into a bigger problem. Contact us today if you suspect cavities or any other dental problem, and we will address the issue professionally and cost-effectively.