Make Your Kids Smile with Healthy Stocking Stuffers

You likely already have a growing list of to-do’s this holiday season, from shopping for gifts with which to surprise loved ones, to preparation for holiday meals and family gatherings. In all the excitement – and busyness – it is easy to overlook stocking stuffer shopping until the last minute. Unfortunately, this is likely why many parents end up filling their kids’ stockings mostly with sweets, and other potentially cavity-causing treats. This year, though, with a little planning and smart shopping you can elicit smiles on Christmas morning with the kind of treats that won’t contribute to dental decay. That way you can keep on enjoying those happy and healthy smiles well into the new year!

Avoid Too Many Sweets in Their Stockings

Many parents resort to sweets, for filling stockings, year after year. After all, candy is readily accessible, a hit with most kids, and affordable, as well. Unfortunately, sugar is a leading cause of acidic erosion, which means it can contribute to the development of cavities and even gum disease. To help protect their smiles, stick to only a few candies or none at all. Your kids might not even miss them, if you opt for fun, smile-friendly alternatives.

For instance, small games, cards, bouncy balls, yo-yo’s, and a host of other toys are stocking-sized and healthy alternatives to candy. Stickers, crayons or markers, craft items, and other artistic-inspired gifts are also welcome additions to stockings for both kids and teens alike. You could also add baseball cards or other collectibles, to suit each child’s interests. A new pair of headphones or a phone case is also a good idea, especially for older children and teens.

Supply a Few Dental Care Products

Sure, dentists might seem biased in suggesting parents buy their kids toothbrushes and other dental care products at Christmastime. However it is not unusual or even unwelcome to give kids useful items like toothbrushes during Christmas, and the stocking is a perfect place for necessities like these.

In fact, many parents use stockings as a chance to help restock their kids’ supply of lots of healthy – or simply necessary – items, such as new pairs of socks, travel toiletries, and yes, dental products. From cartoon-laden brushes to fun-flavored flosses, look for age appropriate options your kids will actually enjoy using. (Just make sure you opt for items with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.)

filed under: Preventive Treatments, Tips/Advice