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Stocking Stuffers That Help Protect Smiles

Dec 16, 2014

By Dean George

Everyone likes the treats and sweets of Christmas, but why not do something different for stocking stuffers this year? Rather than packing your child’s stocking with ribbons of hard candy, chocolate Santa’s or bags of divinity and fudge, here are five unique ideas for stocking surprises that could put a smile on your child’s face while helping to protect it, too!

Xylitol Chewing Gum Giving your kids chewing gum made with Xylitol is a win-win for their pearlies. Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in certain trees, fruits and vegetables. Chewing any sugar-free gum after a meal helps dislodge food stuck between the teeth by stimulating saliva, and also helps counter the acid foods like ketchup and citrus leave behind.

But Xylitol does this and a bit more. But Xylitol helps keep a neutral pH balance in the mouth that prevents bacteria from clinging to teeth. As previously reported in Dental Wire when the plaque pH rises to a certain level, the calcium and phosphate salts in saliva are absorbed in the softened enamel, causing it to harden.

In other words, Xylitol not only helps prevent cavities, but some studies show it can also repair earlier damage sugar has done to teeth!

Fun Flavored Toothpaste It’s the holidays so why not put some fa-la-la-la-la in your kids’ oral health routine? One way to do that is to help them break from the mint and bubble gum flavored toothpastes and take a walk on the fun side. In August we wrote about new toothpaste flavors like chocolate, cupcake, watermelon, strawberry, vanilla mint and mint chocolate.

Who knows? Parents who turn their kids on to these new flavors may have to referee on which child gets to brush first before bedtime.

Fantastic Flavored Floss Until recently floss was the straight man of oral hygiene. While toothpastes often come in wild and crazy flavors, and toothbrushes blink colors and play music like a carnival calliope, floss has always been – well, kind of boring. Not anymore. Like toothpaste, floss now comes in fun and frolic-some flavors like cupcake, bacon, banana, cinnamon and pickle-flavored.

Trendy Toothbrushes We’ve written a lot about kids’ toothbrushes in Agent Straight-Talk. Toothbrushes like FireFly® that help kids brush for the recommended two minutes by flashing lights that alert them when it’s time to switch from one row of teeth to the other. And kids today have more cartoon characters and colors to choose from for their toothbrush than Walt Disney could have ever imagined.

Whether a child is humming “Let it Go’ from Disney’s Frozen movie while using an Anna or Elsa toothbrush, or dreaming of climbing school walls like Spiderman while brushing, or busting through ‘em like The Incredible Hulk, the goal is to get them to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Giving them a fun toothbrush in their stocking may help do that.

Toothbrushing 7.0 Yes, there are apps to help encourage kids to brush. Just a couple of them are Brush with Jackson and Brush DJ. The former entertains and educates kids on how to brush with a number of endearing actions and music, and the latter plays music from a mobile device and times kids while they brush.

Both products are entertaining, visually stimulating and successful in encouraging kids to brush and teaching them good oral hygiene habits.

So ask yourself this: what could be a better stocking stuffer than helping your kids get off to a good start in the New Year with their oral hygiene? And as a bonus to parents, those good habits should pay off in less expensive visits to the dentist office every six months. Talk about a win-win!

Of course, something else that can help offset the expense of dental visits is an affordable dental plan. To see plans available in your area, click here.

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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC   


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