Holiday gift giving is right around the corner. Wouldn’t you love to give your kids a few gifts that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars in the long run? When kids practice good dental hygiene habits they can prevent the costly (and painful) consequences of tooth decay.
That’s why Santa and The Tooth Fairy have teamed up to compile this list of fun stocking stuffers to keep kid’s smiles healthy. (And they’ll love them too!)
America’s ToothFairy does not endorse any product or brand. The products listed below are only examples of the ways parents can make oral hygiene fun and encourage healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Consult your family dentist about what will work best for your child.
While tried and true toothpaste flavors will make their mouths minty-fresh, why not switch it up with new ones? Hello Oral Care toothpaste is available in bubble gum, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, and apple.
If your kids don’t floss every day, 45% of their tooth surfaces aren't getting clean! Flossers like these GUM Crayola Kids’ Flossers are recommended by dental hygienists and make it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas where plaque buildup can lead to inflammation, bleeding & gingivitis. They’re easier for little hands to manipulate and get in between teeth and below the gum line. (Read more about how to make flossing a healthy habit your kids will keep.)
Older kids and teens–especially those with braces–can try water flossers! When used properly they can be more effective at cleaning than traditional floss. Check out this one from Pop Sonic. (Plus, for each Pop Sonic product purchased, they’ll donate a manual toothbrush for a child in need through our Dental Resource Program!)
It’s essential to replace toothbrushes when they’re worn out (that’s about every 3 months if your kids are brushing two times each day as recommended) or after an illness. There are so many options for manual toothbrushes, but what’s more important is that kids brush thoroughly for two minutes, especially after eating the sweet, sticky treats that often show up around the holidays.
If you’re opting for a standard manual toothbrush, include this handy bathroom timer from Honwell. It plays music for a set amount of time for both brushing and hand washing, to help make sure your child gets rid of nasty germs and bacteria!
This manual toothbrush from Oral-B lights up for two minutes so that kids know how long to brush. (It also has a handy suction cup at its base to keep it upright when not in use.)
You can find simple battery-powered toothbrushes that help kids brush for two minutes at most department stores, drug stores, supermarkets. Or you might want to try the new BriteBrush GameBrush. It uses gaming technology to track the position of the toothbrush and helps kids learn proper technique. An indicator light helps parents see if kids have brushed properly.
Sonic technology has become more affordable. This sonic toothbrush from Pop Sonic is compact and comes in fun colors. (Added bonus: with each purchase, Pop Sonic will donate a manual toothbrush to America’s ToothFairy to distribute to kids who need them!)
If your child splits time between two homes, be sure they have a toothbrush at each or provide a cover that will protect theirs from germs and bacteria, like this one from Steripod. Or, if you’ll be traveling during the holidays, travel-sized hygiene packs will come in handy!
The bacteria that cause cavities also live on your child’s tongue! (And they cause bad breath.) These fun tongue scrapers look like colorful lollipops and are easy for kids to use.
Chewing sugar-free gum not only freshens breath but also helps the mouth produce saliva, which helps to keep teeth cleaner between brushing. Or give them these dissolvable mouthwash tablets from Listerine.
It’s hard to avoid sugary temptations during the holidays, which can wreak havoc on your child’s teeth! Add some tooth-friendly options in their stocking and they won’t miss any of the junk.
Replace sweet and acidic sodas that destroy enamel with flavored water. Try Mio Water Enhancers with tap water or bottled water with sugar-free flavors and bubbles like these from Deer Park. If they insist on having a soft drink give them these cool silicone straws. They’re reusable, eco-friendly, and will help reduce the amount of and length of time that acidic and sugary drinks wash over your child’s teeth.
Since hard candies take a long time to dissolve and, therefore, bathe teeth in sugar for longer periods of time, swap them out with sugar-free options like these peppermint candy canes. Or opt for chocolate since it dissolves quickly and is easier to clean from teeth.
Avoid any taffy, caramels, or other sticky candies that adhere to teeth like glue! And of course have lots of healthy snacks readily available like cheese, fruit, and nuts.
Younger kids can learn about proper oral health habits while they also learn to read! The Brushies is a book that’s perfect for toddlers and comes with cute finger puppets that make brushing fun (and habit-forming) for little ones. Or check out this great list of books for all ages compiled by a dentist.
If your kiddo plays sports (or just plays rough) be sure to protect them from injury with a new mouthguard. Shock Doctor offers lots of fun colors and even flavored versions! Or protect their lips from cold winter air with lip balm in plain or fun flavors.
Finally, if your child is expecting a visit from The Tooth Fairy soon, check out this cute Tooth Pillow and Notepad, or The Toothless Monster, an adorable book and stuffed toy that offers a new twist on losing teeth, or find more fun ways to make a visit from The Tooth Fairy (and Santa) a bit more magical.
We hope these suggestions have inspired you to find ways to encourage healthy habits during the holidays and in the coming new year! Find more information about teaching kids about proper dental hygiene in the blog posts below, or sign up for ToothFairy Tips, our quarterly newsletter for parents and caregivers.