9 Stocking Stuffers To Brighten Smiles This Christmas

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Candy canes and chocolate are usual “go-to” items for stuffing Christmas stockings. This year, why not add some mouth-friendly items that will enhance your child or partner’s oral health and help brighten their smile?

We have nine ideas for you this Christmas that are sure to light up the faces of the recipients.

Chewing Gum With Xylitol: Putting gum infused with Xylitol in stockings will provide a double bonus. Chewing gum following a meal stimulates saliva in your mouth, and saliva is extremely efficient at acting as a buffer to acid and removing food particles from your mouth. And if the gum contains the natural sweetener Xylitol, the user will get a second benefit – studies have linked regular use of Xylitol to reduced tooth decay.

Toothpastes With Flavor: You’ve probably heard of bubble-gum flavored toothpaste, or mint-flavored toothpaste. But how about chocolate, ice cream, cupcake, or bacon-flavored toothpaste. In fact, you can even get pickle-flavored toothpaste (we say ‘ick’ to that)! Get your kids (and even adults) excited about brushing with a flavored toothpaste. Just make sure it contains fluoride, an essential cavity-fighter.

Flavored Floss: Spice up your daily oral health routine with some flavored floss. Most floss is pretty boring, but change that this Christmas by putting flavored floss in stockings. You’ll find everything from cinnamon to banana – and lots of other options. Remember, the best oral hygiene routine includes brushing and flossing. If flossing is something your family struggles to do, make it easier for them. Put floss picks in their stockings rather than regular string floss.

Fun Toothbrushes: You should be replacing your toothbrush – and your child’s toothbrush – every three to four months. Give everyone a new toothbrush this Christmas, and then replace it again at Easter and just before they go back to school in late August. Buy toothbrushes that are fun – and appropriate – for the different members of your family. Be sure to get soft-bristled toothbrushes for toddlers. There are lots of favorite characters for school-aged children, and “smart” toothbrushes that play tunes or light up to help a child keep track of how long to brush.

Colgate Wisps: These are tiny disposable toothbrushes that are perfect for when you’re on the go – at work, school or even a night out with friends. They’ve been around awhile, but are so convenient and cute that they are always a good oral health stocking stuffer.

Electric Toothbrush: This is a great alternative to a manual toothbrush. The basic models are very affordable and you can get them with oscillating, vibrating or sonic brush heads. Some even are themed for kids and play a tune for a couple of minutes to encourage the right amount of time spent brushing.

Cool Toothbrush Holder: Stuff your child’s stocking with a toothbrush holder that’s sure to get their attention. You’ll find everything from robot to animal-shaped toothbrush holders available. Many depict a favorite character of the child’s and have space for both their toothbrush and toothpaste.

Plaque-Disclosing Tablets: These are both functional and fun. You use them after brushing your teeth, and any areas that are colored red means you missed that area when you brushed or flossed, since the tablet has a red-colored ingredient that clings to plaque.

FLIX - Interdental Stick: This is another “go-to” for cleaning your teeth in-between regular brushings when you’re away from home. FLIX will remove plaque, freshen your breath, massage gum tissue, reduce odor-causing bacteria, and provide a fluoride treatment.

Sources: Delta Dental, Colgate, FLIX

 

 

Can Gum Be a Cavity-Fighter?

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Chewing gum is a national obsession in the United States. More than $2 billion worth of gum is sold annually (that’s 1.74 trillion sticks of gum) and the average American pops 280 pieces of gum in their mouth each year.

But is all that gum good for your oral health or is it helping create cavities? Simply put, it depends on what type of gum you are chewing (and unfortunately, much of the gum consumed in the United States is sugared gum).

If you are chewing sugarless gum with something called Xylitol, then you are providing your teeth with a double-dose of goodness. Researchers have found through clinical studies that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after you finish a meal can help prevent your teeth from decaying.

How does sugarless gum aid in cavity fighting? It encourages the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is a very good thing. Saliva is sort of the wonder potion for your mouth, washing away food debris, neutralizing acids that bacteria in your mouth produce (and which lead to cavities), and adding calcium and phosphate to help strengthen the enamel on your teeth. See what we mean – saliva is amazing for oral health!

Bacteria are especially impacted by avoiding sugared gum and instead chewing sugarless gum. Bacteria feed on sugar and use it as fuel to produce acids which eat away at your teeth. So avoiding sugar reduces the bacteria in your mouth and makes it a safer place to keep your teeth happy.

Look for a sugarless gum that has Xylitol when you are purchasing your supply of sugarless gum. Xylitol is a proven plaque-fighter, and plaque is that sticky stuff in your mouth that turns to tartar and can impacts your oral health. Another good ingredient to look for in your sugarless gum is Recaldent, which is said to assist in remineralize and hardening of tooth enamel, making your teeth stronger and less likely to suffer from tooth decay.

But remember, sugarless gum is not a substitute for brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. But chewing sugarless gum with Xylitol and Recaldent is a great way to boost your oral health care routine and increase the protection of your teeth.

So the next time you are picking up a pack or container of gum, be sure to reach for the sugarless gum with Xylitol and Recaldent. You can satisfy your need for a sweet treat and at the same time enhance your oral health.

Your mouth will thank you.

SOURCES: American Dental Association and Colgate