6 oral health traditions for your holidays

The holidays are finally here! With all the figgy pudding and honey-glazed chestnuts, it can be hard to keep your smile twinkling like the tinsel on the tree. These tips will help you keep your smile merry and bright all season long.

While it’s fun to stuff stockings with candy, the treats hung with care don’t have to be unhealthy. Toothbrushes with features like flashing lights or sound effects can be an exciting way to make brushing fun. You can also pick up some floss with unique flavors like strawberry, cupcake or bacon.

Sugar cookies and fudge aren’t the only snacks to share around the block during the holidays. Consider bringing your neighbors fresh and festive alternatives like pomegranates and persimmons or homemade, sugar-free treats.

There’s nothing like a little hot cocoa to make your spirits bright. This year, opt for something that’ll keep your smile shining, too. Try whipping up a batch of sugar-free cocoa for you and your kin, or pour some into a thermos as a sippable sweet treat to enjoy while looking at holiday lights and decorations.

Turning on a two-minute song is a fun way to make sure you hit the mark when it comes to brushing your teeth for the recommended amount of time. During the holidays, switch it up with something a little more festive – “Jingle Bells” and other short holiday tunes can be great for helping you and your little ones brush for the right amount of time.

The season of giving is a perfect time to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to local charities in need. Homeless and women’s shelters are always looking for dental supplies. The following organizations are also great resources for providing toothbrushes to those in need:

Advent calendars are a fun way to count down to Christmas, but 25 days of sweets can take a toll on your teeth. Replace candies with toys or trinkets such as erasers, crayons, plastic jewelry, stickers and temporary tattoos. If you're pressed for time, pick up a countdown calendar that comes with prepackaged toys.