Christmas is a time of year when kids are naturally excited. It's also a time when there can be a lot of unhealthy food around. Put these two facts together, and your kids can easily damage their teeth. It's up to you to help stop this from happening.
This does not mean that you should turn into a Grinch and ban sweets or other sugary foods. It just means that you need to encourage your kids to think of their teeth as well as having fun. There are several things that you can do to make this happen.
See sweets as a treat
When Christmas arrives, this may apply to you as much as it does to your kids. It's important that no-one in the house snacks on sweets all day. Only a few sweets should be eaten at set times. It helps if there are not too many sweets in the house in the first place. If every relative seems to have bought a selection box for your kids, store some away for a later date.
It's also worth mentioning that you should store away tubs of sweets that you buy in the weeks running up to the big day. It's all too easy to make the most of the deals in the shops only for the family to eat every chocolate before Christmas even arrives. Your kids are more likely to have self-control if you do.
Eat sweets at meal times
The best time for your kids to eat the sweets that they are allowed to have is after they have eaten a meal. This is because eating food creates saliva which can then help to get rid of the potentially damaging effect of sweets. This is far better than kids eating sweets in between meals, when more damage is likely to be done.
Encourage regular brushing
Of course, your kids should be encouraged to brush their teeth regularly at any time of year. However, at Christmas, you might have to reinforce the message as presents and fun tend to come first with kids.
Teeth should be brushed for two minutes twice a day. If your kids are young enough, you can use the "Santa is watching" message to encourage them.
Promote some "Rudolph" food
If your kids put out food for Santa and Rudolph, encourage them to try some reindeer carrots. You may even want to all do your best reindeer impressions, for extra fun. You could also change out Santa's cookies for carrots, explaining that he wants to eat food that is good for him.
Older children can be included by making some carrot dishes for them. These dishes can be a great addition to a festive table.
Make a sweet free Advent Calendar
Kids love Advent calendars; opening the doors helps to build the excitement as Christmas approaches. However, many of these calendars simply add to the sweet count. A healthier option, that protects teeth, is to make an advent calendar that contains small gifts, healthy food or jokes.
You can see that it's possible to protect your kids' teeth at Christmas without spoiling the fun.