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How To Make Sure Valentine Treats Also Help Loved Ones Keep A Great Smile

Valentine’s Day is typically the biggest candy holiday of the year, next to Halloween. And many of the sweet gifts are given to children.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and while Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity toshow your loved ones how much you care, you can go a step farther and use the American Dental Association’s campaign for better children’s dental health to give kids of all ages an extra-special gift:  ways to make sure their smiles stay bright and healthy for a lifetime. In fact, by contrasting gifts of candy and dental health, you can show how treats and good dental health can go together—if you’re smart about it.

valintines_candyMany parents celebrate the holiday by giving their kids Valentine’s candy, and most dental professional don’t discourage this:  holiday experience are important.   Treats shouldn’t be forbidden (that can create a lot of other issues).  But kids need to also be educated that if they get to indulge, they also have to be responsible and take precautions that don’t cause them problems later on.

That doesn’t have to be a downer.  Kids can have plenty of fun and then take a couple of minutes to be responsible for their dental hygiene. In fact, a key message of this year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month is “2 x 2,” or getting kids to brush two times per day for two minutes each.

Here are some other tips that you can put to use to encourage good dental hygiene and health:

1.  While buying candy, also get new toothbrushes (along with favorite tooth paste) for everyone.  Brushes should be changed every 3-4 months, and having a new brush reinforces the idea that brushing is an important part of the holiday.  (If you did the same thing for kids at Halloween, Valentine’s Day is a time to make another brush switch.

2.  Instead of letting kids nosh on candy all day, designate specific times for treats, followed immediately by brushing.  Prolonged periods of candy eating allow the sugars to form plaque and the acids that can cause tooth decay.  So pick times (not too close to mealtime) for kids to enjoy their Valentine treats.  Then follow up immediate afterward with brushing.

3. Quantity can be much better than quantity.  So instead of a big box of candy, smaller supplies of better chocolates can limit the risk of damage from sweets.  In fact, teens and grownups can impress your sweethearts with a combination of flowers, cards, and just a couple of great sweets, because you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into choosing “just the right mix” of gifts.

Want to know more?  Charlotte Dentistry and the American Dental Association have lots of great ideas on better children’s dental health.  To get answers, simply ask us the next time you have a checkup, or use “Ask the Expert” feature on our website.  And we hope you and your loved ones have a great Valentine’s Day.

Bring your whole family to one convenient location for all their dental needs.
…Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You … Matthew 7:12