Are you ready for the new year? Even if you have your New Year’s Eve Party perfectly planned, there still might be some things you’re not considering. As a children’s dentist, we’re always thinking about how to keep our patients’ smiles healthy and happy. Unfortunately, sugary foods and cavities start to build up during the holiday season. We’ve seen it plenty of times.
Good news– there are several things you can do before the end of the year to protect your child’s teeth, and prepare them for a 2016 full of big, healthy smiles.
Make Your Appointments
Because of the holidays, we don’t have as many working days in December as we do in other months. If you need to get your child in for an appointment, you should do so sooner rather than later.
Our practice is very busy during the holiday season, and we don’t want you to miss out because you didn’t book an appointment early enough. Regardless of how booked we are, we’ll be happy to set the most convenient appointment we can for your child. You’ll just have more flexibility if you call earlier.
Regular checkups and cleaning are important for your child’s teeth. In the time between Halloween and New Year’s Day, we see many cavities. If your child comes in for a cleaning and checkup during this time, we can check for tooth decay– and we can also give them a gentle reminder about how cavities occur and what they can do to prevent them.
We recommend at least two checkups per year, and we’ll advise you if your child might need a little more attention. As this is the most intense time of year for tooth decay, it’s good to schedule one of your appointments around the holiday season.
Regular checkups will help keep your child’s smile full and healthy for 2016.
Use Your FSA/HSA
Do you have a Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account?
These plans work great for dental appointments, especially if your child needs a bit of work done. Unfortunately, many of these plans reset every year. If you don’t spend the funds, you lose them.
It’s getting to be that time of year when many FSAs are about to reset. If you have some FSA funds left, spending them on your child’s smile is a great way to go. If they have any dental issues at all, it’s best to catch them early.
Even if you don’t have an HSA or FSA, we provide many payment options. As you probably already know, all of our team members are friendly and more than willing to help. They find great joy in helping you find treatment options and payment plans that work best for you and your child.
Better Stocking Stuffers
When you were a kid, what did you get in your Christmas stocking? When we talk about our Christmas memories at the practice, most of us realize we got candy in our stockings– too much candy. That Christmas candy, combined with Halloween and other holiday sweets, led to some serious childhood cavities for some of my team members.
Kids love candy, and they look forward to finding out what’s in their stocking every year. We’re not saying you should abandon candy entirely, but you can greatly reduce the amount of candy you give them and replace it with other items.
For starters, we recommend an electric toothbrush. Use your child’s favorite colors and characters as a guide– there’s a staggering amount of variety in the world of toothbrushes these days. If they like the look of the toothbrush and feel personally connected to it, they’re much more likely to use it.
You can also supplement the stocking with small toys, their favorite movies on DVD, or gift cards so they can pick out their favorite games and apps on computers and other mobile devices.
A great smile lasts a lifetime. As a children’s dentist, we know how important it is to focus on that smile, every year, until your children are old enough to make their own good dental health decisions.
Book your appointments as soon as you can, use your remaining FSA funds, and reduce the amount of candy in their Christmas stockings. They’ll thank you for it in the years to come.
~ Dr. Randy