Protecting your kids’ teeth and gums is a 365-days-a-year job. But during the winter months, the oral health and safety of your children means finding the right balance between a fun snowy day and their dental needs. According to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, drier air, sugary hot drinks, snowball fights and more can put their teeth at risk for damage.
Following are some ways you can keep your children’s teeth healthy and happy throughout the winter season.
Keep Them Hydrated: Water isn’t just for summer. If your kids enjoy sledding or playing a winter sport, they run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Your child may also become dehydrated if he or she catches the flu or a cold. Healthy teeth for children means getting them to drink plenty of water in the winter, even if they aren’t thirsty.
Guard Their Teeth: For young winter athletes, you’ll need to provide protection from physical damage. Your dentist Columbia reports that injuries during sports make up between 10% and 40% of dental injuries in children. Having your child wear protection - in the form of a mouth guard or facemask - when playing any type of winter sport will reduce the risk for dental injury.
Encourage Good Dental Habits: Keeping with good dental habits in the winter is essential to protecting your kids’ oral health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day are especially important when a child has the cold or flu. The immune system is busy fighting the cold or flu virus and needs all the help it can get.
Watch the Hot Cocoa: When your child has a cough or sore throat, it’s natural to give him a cough drop and a lot of children drink more juice when battling a cold, or drink a cup of hot cocoa after a day of sledding. But your dentist Columbia warns that cough drops, juice and hot cocoa tend to contain a lot of sugar, which leads to cavities and decay.
One solution is to give your children sugar-free cough drops when they have a sore throat. As for hot chocolate, try a version using real milk and dark chocolate, which contains less sugar than other options.
Protecting your kids’ health this winter means more than just making sure they stay warm and don’t get sick. It also means keeping an eye on their oral health and taking steps to protect their teeth. Is it time for your child’s checkup? Don’t hesitate – call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule an appointment and let’s keep them healthy this winter!