Those of you celebrating Christmas are quite familiar with stockings, and have surely filled them with little gifts on more than one occasion. This year, we suggest balancing out some of the candy and tiny treats with some mouth-healthy stocking stuffers!
Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, depending upon the health of the bristles, which makes Christmas the perfect time to resupply your child’s toothbrush stock! When choosing a toothbrush, try to find one that is easy for your child to hold, and that will comfortably fit into their mouth. You’ll also want to find one with soft bristles that won’t be agitate their gums, and look for the ADA seal of approval to ensure that you’re buying one that has been thoroughly evaluated and approved by a respected institution. Toothbrushes are perfect stocking stuffers to help your child keep their mouth healthy during the holidays!
Another great mouth-healthy stocking stuffer is toothpaste! When buying toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of approval on the package, so that you know it’s effective. We suggest buying toothpaste that provides complete protection, rather than just buying whitening toothpaste – which sometimes contains abrasives that can irritate young gums and teeth.
Gum Sweetened with Xylitol
Instead of candy canes or chocolate bars, try stuffing your child’s stocking with something that tastes great AND cleans teeth – gum sweetened with Xylitol! This mouth-friendly gum benefits teeth because Xylitol stimulates saliva production. Saliva works to clean teeth by naturally clearing debris that can buildup and cause cavities. It also regulates oral acid levels and helps to prevent plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. Saliva is also very high in calcium, and can help strengthen enamel – the first line of defense against cavities!
Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to floss with braces – so if you have a child with braces our next stocking stuffer idea is for you: floss threaders! Floss threaders are tools that help people with braces floss more easily and effectively. Floss threaders typically come in small packs that are easy to slip into stockings.
Braces trap food debris on the surface of teeth, which increases the damage that it does to young mouths. It’s important that people with braces floss, since the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone floss once per day. All of this makes floss threaders the perfect mouth-healthy gift for anyone with braces!
We hope that your family has a happy and healthy holiday season, and that you all take care of your oral health over the break. Remember to brush your teeth twice per day and floss once per day, to help prevent tooth decay.