Skip The Candy Canes & Give Your Child These 4 Teeth-Friendly Stocking Stuffers

When looking for small, affordable items to help fill your child's holiday stocking to the brim, it can be all-to-tempting to throw in a bunch of candy. While eating candy on occasion won't necessarily harm your child's otherwise healthy teeth, the holiday season is filled with so many sweet treats that taking steps to eliminate it where you can will help prevent a disastrous post-holiday dental check-up. Instead of candy, top-off your child's stocking with these four fun, teeth-friendly items to help them stay cavity-free this winter.

1. Fun and Crazy Toothpastes

If you purchase that more economical family size standard mint toothpaste for your family to use year-round, then a great stocking stuffer for your child is a tube or small package of several tubes of fun-flavored toothpastes. A popular crayon company has even come out with their own toothpaste multi-pack shaped like crayons and packing a flavor punch. If your child loves to color, then they can have fun coloring their toothbrush with these fun toothpastes.

2. Brightly Colored Hand-held Teeth Flossers

It can be difficult for children (and even adults) to get the hang of string-flossing, although it is very important for them to floss once every day to ward off gum disease. If you haven't had your child try teeth flossers that consist of a handle with a small piece of string floss attached to it, then they can be a great stocking stuffer. If they already use them regularly, then giving them a set of fun colored ones instead of white ones will still be a great surprise.

Many even come with fruit-flavored floss to make flossing not only fun, but tasty as well.

3. A Vibrating Toothbrush

You may not want to splurge on a pricey electronic toothbrush with interchangeable heads if your child is young and prone to breaking things, but you can find fun, vibrating brushes that cost just a few dollars more than standard brushes. Some even come with photos of their favorite cartoon characters on them.

Just be sure that whatever fun brush you choose as a stocking stuffer has a child-sized brush head and handle, because brushes with large heads and adult-sized handles make brushing more difficult for children.

4. Children's Water Flosser

If your child is age 6 or older, then a colorful water flosser can be a very fun item to include in their stocking that can lead to healthier teeth. Water flossers have been proven in studies to be even more effective than string floss at removing plaque from not only between teeth, but also plaque that remains on the surfaces of teeth after brushing. You can also imagine how much fun it would feel for a child to be able to project a little stream of water on their teeth.

While this may sound like a pricey stocking stuffer, children's water flossers are typically much more affordable than adult versions. Just remember that there is a learning curve to getting used to using one properly, so be prepared to supervise your child and help them learn to use it until they have it mastered and can use it on their own.

With the holiday season in full force and candy and treats already being handed out everywhere you turn, you can help prevent post-holiday cavities by packing your child's stocking with teeth-friendly items instead of candy. Just remember to choose items with bright colors and/or in fun flavors to ensure it is as fun for your child as possible. Your child can then have a better chance of a great post-holiday dental check-up that reveals no new cavities and even healthier teeth than before the holidays.

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