Smile-Friendly Stocking Stuffers | Delta Dental Arkansas
Posted Dec 2020
By Delta Dental of Arkansas
Tagged egg cookers, drinking straws, chocolate, oranges, gum, tooth fairy, floss, toothbrush cases, toothbrushes, water bottles, smile-friendly, stocking stuffers
Smile-Friendly Stocking Stuffers (10 Gift Ideas For Healthy Teeth And Gums)
December 14, 2020
Taking care of your teeth and gums should be a fast, effective and daily routine. Teach your kids healthy habits with these fun and useful gift ideas. Shopping tip: Look for these and other smile-friendly stocking stuffers in your locally-owned neighborhood pharmacy. Besides filling prescriptions, many offer novel and unique health and wellness gifts.
Our stocking stuffer ideas:
- Water bottles
Water is your teeth’s (and body’s) drink of choice, although kids tend to prefer sugary drinks. But those sodas, sports drinks and fruit juiced can contain up to 10 cavity-causing teaspoons of sugar in a single serving. Help your kiddos make the switch away from sugary drinks in style with a new water bottle and encourage them to fill it with tap water, which typically contains fluoride, a mineral that protects teeth. If you want fancy, spring for a smart water bottle that tracks your water intake with a sensor and a smartphone app. It glows when it’s time to drink up! Serve sweet drinks as rare treats only and have your children rinse with water afterwards.
Even in Ancient Egypt, moms encourage their youngsters to brush their teeth — with twigs! Toothbrushes have come a long way since but they still fulfill the same basic function of dislodging food particles and removing plaque. Get your kiddos excited about brushing with a new, fun toothbrush. You can choose a basic manual model or a state-of-the art electric toothbrush that buzzes when it’s time to move to a different area of the mouth. Other toothbrushes sing to you or feature a favorite cartoon character. No matter the choice, remind your children to brush twice a day and floss once a day.
Also teach them to keep that new toothbrush clean and sanitary with these tips.
- Toothbrush cases
Got toothbrush, will travel? Not so fast. Tossed into an overnight bag, your kid’s toothbrush will pick up dirt and bacteria that will end up in their mouth. Keep it sanitary with a portable toothbrush case or holder. Any plain design will do or opt for playful shapes like spaceships or bird.
- Flavored floss or flossers
Daily flossing removes food particles, keeps plaque at bay and reduces the risk of gum disease. Flavored floss makes the task all the more palatable. Mint and cinnamon are fairly common, but you can also find cardamom, cupcake frosting and—fitting for the season—pumpkin spice flavors.
- Tooth Fairy Pillow
Besides Santa, is the Tooth Fairy going to stop at your house soon? If so, a tooth fairy pillow will make her feel more welcome and your youngster less apprehensive about pulling out that loose tooth.
- Minty Mouth Items
Your children will start appreciating the refreshing taste of a minty mouth with items like sugar-free gum (look for one that contains xylitol), lip balm or sugar-free mints. Some brands even release limited-edition flavors specifically for the holidays.
Why are oranges traditional stocking stuffers? According to legend, they symbolize the gold that St. Nicholas dropped down a poor man’s chimney where it landed in the stockings of the man’s three daughters and paid for their dowry. Oranges, like other citrus fruit, are excellent sources of vitamin C for healthy gums, but they are also high in enamel-damaging acid. Enjoy them regularly, but in moderation, and rinse your mouth afterwards with water.
If you want to include sweets in your children’s stockings, choose chocolate, rather than sticky caramels or hard candy. Chocolate dissolves quickly, which means it doesn’t stay on the teeth very long. It also contains healthy calcium and antioxidants. Teach your children to savor special treats like chocolate and rinse their mouths with water afterwards to get rid of cavity-causing bacteria.
- Reusable Drinking Straws
Your kids can protect the environment and their teeth with reusable drinking straws. Straws act like tunnels that limit the contact between liquids and teeth. For that reason, they keep cavities out, guard against surface stains (good to know for future coffee-drinkers) and shield sensitive teeth. More on why teeth love straws.
- Egg Cookers
This is for your older kids, i.e., college students who may need a little help balancing their diets. Show them how to create healthy meals in their dorm room with versatile egg cookers that can scramble, poach, boil and turn out omelets. Eggs are rich in phosphorus—a mineral that can strengthen enamel—plus other powerful nutrients. Egg cookers are among the 2020 hottest Christmas gifts, so if you drop one in the stocking of your almost-grownup, you’ll stay on Santa’s nice list.
And now, you’re ready to fill those stockings with gifts that will not only bring smiles to your kids but good health to their teeth and gums.
A shorter version of this content appeared in Little Rock Family, digital edition, Dec. 8, 2020: Smile-Friendly Stocking Stuffers | Little Rock Family