The holiday season is always filled with various temptations and indulgences. Although oral health may be in the back of your patient’s mind amid the flurry of family, friends, gifts, and sweets, there are many simple changes they can make to help preserve their smile. The bacteria in their mouth breaks down sugar, which then releases acid that weakens tooth enamel. This can lead to more serious issues such as tooth decay and cavities. But no worries! Here are 5 very simple solutions you can share with patients in decreasing the amount of sugar in those irresistible holiday treats.
- Explore Healthier Cookie Options
Many cookie recipes offer alternative ingredients that will cut down on sugar and lead to healthier options. For example, incorporating applesauce or nuts is a great way to elevate a recipe and reduce sugar. Some good cookies that one can alter are gingerbread, oatmeal, almond, and jelly thumbprint. Spending a little time researching recipes online should help in finding ways to alter recipes.
- Try Alternative Holiday Snacks
Patients don’t necessarily have to give up all treats to stay healthy! Options such as chocolate-covered strawberries, pumpkin pie, dried fruit, soft cheeses, and nut-based desserts are all delicious alternatives to those tempting sugar-filled treats.
- Consider Alternative Stocking Stuffers
Most of our stockings are usually filled to the brim with candies and treats. But there are many alternative ideas that are just as fun! Suggest puzzles, board games, small toys, craft supplies, and books are all great gifts that kids will love.
- Limit Sugar Time
The more time one snacks on those sugar-filled treats, the worse it is for their teeth. Limiting this sugar time is a great way to protect your patient’s teeth and enamel. Always remind them to clean their teeth afterward!
- Brush Teeth After Sugary Snacks
Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes should be an essential step in everyone’s daily routines. Remind patients that during the holidays, they may even want to brush three times in order to remove the excess sugar, bacteria, and plaque that build up after treats. This is a great recommendation to aid in the prevention of issues such as tooth decay and gingivitis.
These various tips are quick and easy ways to protect your patient’s oral health during this holiday season. Since most people return home for holiday breaks, it is a fantastic time to reach out and schedule dental cleanings or checkups with your patients! These are just a few ideas to add to your bag of great ideas to share with your patients. Let’s keep oral health in front of mind during the holidays.