LA Kid’s Dentist: "What can I do to help protect my kids’ teeth during the holidays?"

Q: What can I do to help get my kids through the holidays without a fresh bunch of cavities?

A: This time of year, kids are eating sweets constantly. First there’s all the candy at Halloween, then there are all of those tasty desserts at Thanksgiving, and then there are all of the cookies and other treats in December.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help get your kids through the holidays with healthy teeth. Discourage your kids from having little snacks of candy or other refined carbs here and there throughout the day, and encourage them to save up these treats and eat a bunch at once. Eating carbs makes the mouth more acidic, and every time a piece of candy is eaten it takes an hour for the acid inside the mouth to dissipate. So it’s actually better for your teeth to eat a bunch of carbs at once, and get it over with.

Save cookies, cakes or holiday pies for desserts after a meal, and don’t let kids eat them as treats at other times of the day. Eating a meal first will encourage saliva production, and that saliva will help wash away the acids in the mouth.

Also, have your kids rinse well with water after they enjoy treats, and encourage them to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing during the holiday season.

Finally, speak to your dentist. We have special products like sealants and fluoride varnishes that can help keep their teeth strong. Also, we can motivate your children to work on their oral hygiene more diligently.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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