What does Christmas morning success look like as a parent? Well, one answer doesn’t cover all parents, but it could be argued that seeing that look of excitement in your child’s eye after they tear the wrapping paper off a present or examine the goodies in their stocking means “Santa” did an excellent job! When you select a gift they enjoy that helps keep them healthy, you both win. Read on to discover some ideas from a dentist in San Ramon for stocking stuffers that encourage kids to take good care of their teeth, plus some suggestions for their oral hygiene routine.
A Toothbrush That Looks Like Fun
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 daughter thinking “I’m a big girl now!”
Great-Tasting Toothpaste and Mouthwash
This idea caters to 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 Take It 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.
Tips for Your Little One’s Oral Hygiene Regimen
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 blog 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 cleaning and exam for them twice each year with a dentist in San Ramon so that you know for sure their teeth are also “having fun”!
About the Author
Dr. Rashpal Deol has been working for the smiles of patients for 35 years after earning his dental doctorate in India. He is in the process of completing a Master of Science in orofacial pain at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Dr. Deol is a member of the American Dental Association. He will be happy to further discuss stocking stuffers during your next checkup and cleaning. Schedule one on his website or call (925) 735-6190.