When it comes to holiday TV specials, most dentists have a soft spot for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the real hero of which is arguably not the titular caribou with the glowing schnoz, but Hermey, the elf who aspires to bring quality dental care to the North Pole.
Sure, Rudolph saves Christmas, and it’s Yukon Cornelius who leads Bumble the snow monster off the cliff, but Hermey performs the life-saving, emergency dental procedure to remove the abominable snowman’s teeth. Given Hermey’s accomplishments (he later opened his own dental practice and earned his DDG—dental do-gooder—designation), it’s no wonder the American Dental Association (ADA) partnered with the elf again this year to promote good oral health amid what can be a chaotic, confection-filled season.
Elf Control: Protecting Your Teeth
Via the ADA’s Mouth Healthy website, Hermey offers the following holiday dental care tips for families:
- Stick to a routine: The holidays can be busy with school breaks, travel, and visits with family and friends. Don’t forget to brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. This is the foundation for protecting your teeth over the holidays and all year long.
- Grab the carrots instead of the cookies: It’s easy to overindulge during the holidays, but it’s also easy to substitute fruits and vegetables for sweets. You teeth and your waistline will thank you.
- H2O, tannenbaum: Drinking water is always a healthy choice, but it is especially beneficial over the holidays when people often go extended periods between brushing while also snacking and drinking teeth-damaging beverages like soda, juice, coffee and wine. Substitute water for sugary and acidic beverages, and drink or rinse with water following meals to help flush food particles from your mouth.
- Don’t forget your dentist: The holidays can be tough on teeth, but a dental visit after the holidays can prepare you for the first part of the new year by providing an assessment of your dental health as well as a thorough teeth cleaning. The post-holiday period is also a good time to restore a bright, healthy looking smile with a teeth whitening treatment.
In addition to holiday oral health recommendations, the ADA also posted an interactive, dental health trivia quiz with Hermey and a holiday page with printable coloring sheets, activities and a brushing chart.
Go with the Fluoride
In conjunction with its family friendly, Hermey the elf promotion, the ADA also released “A Mom’s Guide to Fluoride.” The interactive feature addresses the importance of fluoride, especially to young children whose teeth and mouths are still developing. It also addresses myths about water fluoridation and discusses the oral health benefits of fluoridation.
“A Mom’s Guide to Fluoride” additionally includes guidelines for caring for children’s teeth and offers information about dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, and they have proven effective at preventing the plaque and tartar buildup that leads to cavities. Both the ADA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend dental sealants for school-age children, although sealants can also protect adults’ teeth.
From regular checkups to cosmetic dentistry treatments to restorative procedures, the Columbia, SC, dentists at Smile Columbia Dentistry offer a comprehensive range of services to keep your smile merry and bright. Please call us today at (803) 781-9090 to schedule your appointment.