We get a lot of health tips throughout the year that many of us ignore over the holiday season. For those of you who remember “A Christmas Story” – you’ll recall how little Ralphie was told over and over that if he got his Christmas wish (a Red Ryder, 200 shot, Range Model Air Rifle), he would shoot his eye out. That’s sort of how it feels when people give you health advice over the holidays. And yet, here we are, giving you some health pointers for this holiday season. Hopefully, they won’t be as upsetting as that one piece of advice from everyone in Ralphie’s life.

Keep up your good habits

With holiday travel, the kids being out of school, and all of your obligations, it can be hard to find time for sleeping and eating – not to mention healthy habits like exercising and flossing. And yet, we hope you keep up the good work. As many coaches have said to any athlete who has wanted to quit… This is what you’ve been training for!

You see, setting up healthy habits like brushing your teeth, going for a run, or choosing carrot sticks over candy are all training for times like right now – when it’s hard to keep up those habits. So, go get ‘em, tiger!

Recruit your children as accountability partners

It’s hard enough for you to follow your healthy habits, how much harder do you think it is on your kids? This time of year is filled with unhealthy distraction. There are baked goods available, candy literally hanging on trees, and they are attending parties and playing with visitors all month long.

Instead of scolding your children for forgetting to do things like brushing their teeth – ask them to hold you responsible for your own health habits. You may be amazed to see how quickly they’ll start saying “well, I flossed and brushed my teeth – so you have no excuse!”

Pack healthy (also known as “non-sugary”) snacks

It snows sugar all around America this time of year. That means that you and your youngsters already have access to plenty of candy, baked goods, and more. You don’t need to add to the sugar rush (and tooth decay) by packing sugary snacks.

Try replacing sugary snacks with fun seasonal favorites like pears, pomegranates, apples, carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, and more. You can also dress up normal snacks for the holidays! We found some fun recipe ideas here.

Practice moderation

This season is all about overindulgence. Buck the system by practicing moderation. Instead of snacking on that box of chocolate your client gave you – eat a couple of your favorite pieces and share the rest around the office. Instead of going to every holiday party, stay in a few nights and soak in the tub.

There are many ways to practice moderation that can help your stress level, provide you with overall health benefits, and generally make you feel happier. As health professionals, our goal is to help you get healthy and happy all year round.

We hope you’re in the habit of getting a dental cleaning every six months! If you are due for your next checkup, or you’re just planning ahead, be sure to schedule your checkup and cleaning today.