As a parent, you know that you’ve succeeded on Christmas morning when your child gets that look of excitement after tearing the wrapping paper off a present or examining the goodies within their stocking. When you select a gift they enjoy that helps keep them healthy, you both win!
Read on to discover some ideas for stocking stuffers that encourage kids to take good care of their teeth, plus some suggestions for their oral hygiene routine.
A toothbrush that features Batman, Dora the Explorer, or your child’s favorite character is going to win them over and hopefully get them excited enough to brush twice a day. Some toothbrushes sing, and maybe an electric toothbrush can have your son thinking “I’m a big boy now!”
Toothpaste and Mouthwash that Taste Good
If the last suggestion was fun for their eyes, this one is fun for your child’s taste buds. If minty dental products don’t get them fired up, there are kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and floss varieties with sweet flavors like strawberry and bubblegum. Just make sure the ones you select have the American Dental Association Seal of Approval and contain fluoride. Children younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwash and if your child is younger than two, ask your dentist what toothpaste varieties are safe for them to use.
Snacks That Go Easy on Their Teeth
Your child is probably hoping Santa brings some milk chocolate or sour candy, but it sure would be great if Saint Nick also left some healthier treats that are still tasty like their favorite variety of nuts, some raisins, and maybe some sugarless gum that’s the same flavor as their favorite fruity candy. Even if Santa still gives them some of the sugary candy, if they’ll chew the gum afterward that’s a big win.
Suggestions for Your Child’s Oral Hygiene Routine
When your child brushes their teeth, try to get them to do so for two minutes each morning and evening using a circular motion on all sides of each tooth. It’s okay for children to start flossing as soon as their teeth grow close together, but you should show them how to protect their gums.
If you’re a good storyteller, a tale about the villainous plaque monster and the heroic floss might be just what your child needs to hear to excitedly save the day. When they are old enough for mouthwash, perhaps have a silly face competition with them as you both swish it around.
You probably noticed a common theme in this post – every child is more likely to do something when they see the fun in it. Whatever you do, keep it interesting and there’s a better chance they’ll adopt some good oral health habits that will pay big dividends for their teeth as they are growing up. Last, but certainly not least, be sure to schedule a dental cleaning and exam for them twice each year so that you know for sure their teeth are also “having fun”!
About the Practice
At Costello Dental, we believe in treating every patient like family. We think you’ll enjoy our beautiful, new dental office equipped with modern touches and cutting-edge technology. In addition to providing dental services, it’s important to us that you understand how to properly care for your teeth and gums at home – that’s how to prevent oral health problems in the future. Similarly, when you teach your child good oral care habits, their teeth troubles will be drastically reduced. We would love the opportunity to be your child’s dentist and help you instill good habits into them that they carry into adulthood. To schedule an appointment for them, visit our website or call (847) 259-1111.