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 from your dentist in Washington, D.C. for stocking stuffers that encourage kids to take good care of their teeth, plus some suggestions for their oral hygiene routine.
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.
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
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.
Tips to Optimize Your Child’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.
This blog post built off the concept that every child is more likely to do something when they believe it to be fun. 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 Author
Dr. Yelena Obholz earned her dental doctorate from New York University. During a residency in Brooklyn, she gained advanced experience in periodontics, oral surgery, and prosthodontics. After working in private practice in Maryland, she opened her own dental office here in Washington, D.C. She is currently enrolled in the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. We certainly want children to be taking excellent care of their teeth and gums, and the tips in this blog post offer you some ideas on how to get them excited about developing their own routine. Of course, when you set a great example by brushing and flossing in front of them, it can make a big impact. We are ready to help with any of your family’s oral health needs, just schedule an appointment on our website or call (202) 364-8209.