December is here, and many of us are in full holiday shopping mode. But when it comes to those last-minute stocking stuffers, resist the to urge to fill them all the way up with sugary treats and tiny toys that may get lost more often than they get played with.
Instead, ask Santa to add some healthy – but fun – surprises to your family's stockings this year.
Stocking Stuffers for a Healthy Smile
While oral hygiene may not be at the top of your mind on Christmas morning, popping one or more tooth-conscious gifts into your family's stockings can help counteract the holiday treats we all know we will enjoy.
Okay, hear us out! Young kids will love a toothbrush that features their favorite character, movie, or tv show. Electronic toothbrushes can come with lights and sounds. Some even have timers to ensure your little one is brushing for the recommended two full minutes.
For adults, a toothbrush subscription may be the way to go. It can take a bit off of your family member's mental load if they don't have to remember to replace their toothbrush every 3 months.
There are several subscription services that automatically mail you a toothbrush when you need one. You can choose old-school manual toothbrushes or electronic brushes that come in beautiful designs. Some subscriptions include toothpaste as well.
Bathroom Accessories for Their Teeth
Let the kids have a little (functional) décor of their own. A fun toothbrush holder can brighten up the space and serve a purpose. Tooth timers are an awesome option that helps young kids know exactly how long to brush. You might be surprised how excited your younger children may be to have their own gear in the bathroom.
Chewing gum is not only tasty, it can actually be good for your health! The act of chewing stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, which in turn cleans your teeth. Make sure to choose sugarless gum as we all know excess sugar contributes to oral health problems.
Everyone will get a kick out of floss if it comes in hilarious flavors. There in no harm in using flavored floss, so you might as well enjoy it. Floss comes in a lot of crazy flavors, including bacon and cupcake!
Other Dentist-Approved Holiday Gifts
There are plenty of other options for stuffing those stockings. Here are just a couple of ideas that everyone will love.
Enticing scents and little indulgences aren't limited to unhealthy foods and desserts. Self-care items like bubble bath, hand cream, and lip balm are great stocking stuffers. These items also serve a functional purpose. Bubble bath lets your loved one have an excuse to relax after a long day. Lotions can smell amazing and ease dry winter skin. And we all know how much lip balm comes in handy during the cold weather.
Movie tickets and other experiences are great options. Not only is it an exciting surprise, but it is a way to spend family time together. Just remember to eat a healthy meal before heading to the show so you aren't tempted by popcorn and sugary candy bars when you get there.
Yes, you heard that right. While chocolatey treats contain sugar and aren't great for your teeth, if you are going to choose a sweet treat to include in your stockings this year, chocolate is often the better choice.
Because chocolate melts easily and smoothly, it doesn't stick on teeth and is less likely to cause decay than chewier options such as caramel. Also, chocolate is soft and won't damage teeth like candy canes and other hard candies might. When choosing chocolate, dark varieties with less sugar are the more sophisticated, healthy option.
Bonus: Dental Chew for Your Furry Best Friend
Don't forget your dog this holiday season. While you may spoil him with treats and toys, make sure to also throw in some doggy dental chews for healthy k-9 teeth.
Happy Holidays from Elite Dental and Denture
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. And remember to make your twice-annual dental appointments in the upcoming year!