Updated: Jan 4
For the holidays, we typically think of toys and sweets for gifts. But what if you gave gifts to improve your kid’s oral health?
Good oral habits set kids up for better overall health. Making it fun only helps establish these habits easier. To keep your kids on the right track and to help you cross a few things off your list this holiday season, we put together some gift ideas you can give your little elves for brighter, healthier smiles.
A new toothbrush. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 6 months, so give your child a new toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character, color, or one that lights up or plays music. You can even get them stickers to customize their toothbrush. Just remember to choose one with soft bristles and a smaller head for kids under 8.
A new toothbrush holder. What’s a new toothbrush without a cool new holder? Make brushing even more inviting by upgrading your bathroom mug with a new holder with your child’s favorite animal, show, or game on it.
Toothpaste with a silly flavor. What about trying a kid’s toothpaste that is chocolate, lime, or even bacon flavored? Just make sure it has the ADA seal of approval on it and is fluoride free for kids under 2.
A tooth timer. Help your child brush for at least 2 minutes with a unique timer shaped like a tooth, ladybug, or dancing character. Two minutes can seem like a long time for children, so adding entertainment while they brush can help engage them in the process.
A tooth fairy box. Is your child starting to lose their baby teeth? Give them a small jewelry box or container to customize with stickers or paint that holds their teeth until the tooth fairy visits.
Sports mouthguard. If your kids are involved in sports, a mouthguard can help protect their teeth and gums from injury. Put a new mouthguard in their stocking to keep them in the game safely for the winter/spring season!
Flavored floss. There are many types of dental floss to choose from — unwaxed or waxed, flavored or unflavored, and regular or wide. Waxed floss may be easier to slide through tight teeth, while unwaxed floss will spread out its fibers during use for greater tooth contact. For a special treat, give flavored floss as a gift this holiday, like cinnamon, blue raspberry, or waffle.
Sugarless candy. Sugary treats can cause tooth decay and decrease tooth enamel. Instead of cookies, minimize the sugar your kids eat this season by giving them a small fruit like a clementine, xylitol-sweetened lollipops or candies (xylitol is a healthy alternative to sugar), or sugarless gum. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks helps reduce the acid level and can stimulate the flow of saliva, which cleanses the mouth. This is helpful especially when brushing is impractical.
Set your kids up for healthy oral habits by teaching them that caring for your teeth can be fun! After all the gifts are opened, don’t forget to schedule your child’s teeth cleanings for the new year. Happy Holidays!
Sources: American Dental Association (ADA), Colgate, Delta Dental