It’s the time of year for good cheer, good food, and gifts – Christmas! This time of year is indeed one of the most popular holidays of the year and arguably the only holiday that kids look forward to for making their biggest dreams come true. There are many traditions observed by families across the country during the holiday season. One of those traditions is the Christmas stocking. The Chrstmas stocking is essentially a decorated sock hung on the fireplace mantle on Christmas Eve. It is filled with small gifts, candy, and trinkets presumably by Santa Clause when he arrives to bring gifts. Unfortunately, treats such as hard candies, and peppermints aren’t the best selections if you’re trying to avoid cavities and preserve healthy teeth. But there are some healthier alternatives! If jolly old Saint Nick needs stocking stuffer ideas that are also teeth-friendly, we’ve got you covered.
First let’s talk about why those go-to Christmas candies aren’t the best teeth-friendly options. As you know sugary candy can wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar centric candies that are also sticky like gummies, caramel, sour candy and bubble gum are more likely to get stuck in the grooves and crevices of the teeth. These particles are full of sugar and can corrode tooth enamel and make teeth more susceptible to decay.
So what are some good alternatives? There are lots of healthy options that are easier on teeth and fun for the kids! Snacks such as microwave popcorn, cheese sticks, and trail mix can be a big hit with the kids. You can also go for healthier alternatives such as sugarless candy and gum. Even some chocolates such as candy bars with nuts and dark chocolates are a better choice than hard, sugary candies. Also, a treat doesn’t always have to involve food. A fun game, puzzle, or bubbles can be a neat treat that the kids will enjoy. Try including non-food items in the stockings as well such as bubbles, side-walk chalk, puzzle books, crayons, glow sticks, temporary tattoos, and bouncy balls. We even recommend including a personal toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss in stockings! Afterall, this is the best way to fight off cavities, isn’t it?
In case the kids do get into chewy and hard candies, which we advise to consume in moderation, do take measures to minimize the negative effects. Be sure to have them drink plenty of water before and after indulging. Follow-up candy with a healthy treat like fruit and vegetables. Also, monitor their brushing and flossing schedules to make sure they are brushing and flossing daily.
Carefully watching what your kids eat and drink will help you minimize cavity development at this crucial time in their life. Allowing them to eat sweets and sugary foods in moderation and enforcing a twice daily brushing and daily flossing routine will give them the good oral hygiene structure they will rely on in their adult life. And of course, as always, we encourage you to bring your child in for a dental checkup if they’re due for an appointment. Scheduling their dentist appointment with us is easy! Simply give us a call at 978-794-0010.