Now that we’re in the holiday months, you’re likely getting ready for the gift-giving season. If you’re a parent, one of the biggest highlights of the festivities is to watch your children open their presents and sift through their stocking stuffers. While candy and other tasty snacks are popular gift ideas, most of us know how detrimental they are to your little one’s oral health. Keep reading to learn about three smile-friendly ideas you should consider for stocking stuffers this year!
A Soft-Bristled & Exciting Toothbrush
Since most dentists highly recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, buying your child a new one would be the perfect present. However, you don’t have to buy any regular products that you find at your local grocery store. To make it exciting for your little one, consider purchasing a toothbrush that has their favorite cartoon characters or heroes on it, plays music, or a combination of both. On top of that, you might find it worthwhile to get them an electric toothbrush! Not only will this be thrilling and new for them, but it’ll help make brushing their teeth much easier in the long run.
Fun Dental Products
Children are sometimes reluctant to use dental hygiene products due to their minty flavor. The good news is that these aren’t the only kinds of items available. Try getting them fun-flavored floss, mouthwash, and toothpaste to help them look forward to cleaning their teeth every morning and evening. Some of these products come in flavors like bubblegum and fruit punch, providing new tastes to make brushing more enjoyable. Just be sure that the items you get are fluoridated and have an ADA Seal of Approval. Ask your dentist for toothpaste recommendations if you’re child is under two years old, that way they use products that are safe for their teeth and gums.
The most common goodies you find in stockings are hard candies, gummies, and chocolate. While they’re enjoyable in moderation, overindulging in these treats can end up wreaking havoc on your little one’s smile. Be sure to add a wider variety of snacks that are healthier for oral health. These can include foods like nuts, pretzels, raisins, and even sugarless gum that are tasty and safe for their pearly whites.
Tips for Preserving a Healthy Smile
Now that you have healthy alternative stocking stuffer ideas, you should encourage your child to practice proper cleaning techniques to maintain their teeth and gums. Here’s what their smile cleaning routine should look like:
- Brushing for two minutes two times a day or while their toothbrush’s song is playing
- Flossing when they’re around two years old (you may need to assist them initially since they’re still young)
- Rinsing with mouthwash when they’re older than six or aren’t at risk of swallowing the substance
You can still promote a healthier smile even during the holiday season. Consider these stocking stuffer ideas, and you can set your child up for a life of good oral health!
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury studied at the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. He regularly seeks continuing education and is also a member of several groups like the Smith County Dental Society and the American Dental Association. He offers a wide selection of advanced services, including checkups/cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and gum disease therapy. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call 903-561-1122.