Children & Christmas

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Besides Treats There is Plenty Of Candy

Every year around Christmas time children get excited for two things: toys and candy. Children whose families celebrate Christmas look forward to this special holiday and rightly so. In addition to receiving presents on Christmas day and other treats in their stockings, there is plenty of candy, cakes and other sugar-packed desserts to be featured at holiday dinners, parties and class celebrations.

No one wants to play Scrooge during Christmas time but parents also want to be careful that their children don't overindulge in sweet treats that could lead to cavities and tooth decay.

Here are some tips for cutting back on the Christmas cookies and candy.

Set some Ground Rules

If you forbid your child to have any treats you can be sure of one thing: they will defy the order and get even more. Nothing tempts a child more than being told no and the best way to handle the situation is to lay down reasonable ground rules. Tell your kids they have to bring home any treats they receive at parties either at a friend's house or school and that it will be placed in a container they can pick from once a day. Usually after dinner is a good time for a treat and if they have been well behaved throughout the day you can use it as reinforcement.

All or Nothing

If you are going to let your kids have treats for Christmas, it is better that they get their sugar rush over at once instead of spreading it out. One treat a night is fine but if you continually let your kids have extra helpings of sugary treats the more likely they will develop cavities and tooth decay. If they are going to purge let it be Christmas morning so they get it out of their system and can then brush and floss the leftovers away.

Offer Healthy Substitutes

Most parents simply give in to the idea that kids love candy and nothing else. However, you might be surprised at how much kids will also enjoy fresh fruit, nuts and other treats that aren't loaded with sugar. Finding a careful balance between chocolate and healthy foods is never easy but the more you look the more you'll find great tasting treats that aren't filled with sugar.

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David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:29 PM