What was in your Christmas stocking when you were a kid? If your childhood was anything like mine, you probably started the big day off with some small toys, fruit, and lots of candy. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be hard to prioritize oral health, but keeping your family healthy always should be a priority.
That’s why I asked the team members at our Bedford dental practice for their favorite dental-friendly stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffers to Make Them Smile
New Toothbrush or Toothbrush Heads
For the perfectly practical, Christmas is a great time to replace those worn toothbrushes or toothbrush heads. After several months of use, bristles will bend, fray, and become far less effective. They also need replacing after serious illness, such as the flu. A new toothbrush in their Christmas stocking is not just a practical gift, but also a sign that you care about the recipient’s long-term health.
Patients often ask if dental flossers, or floss picks, work as well as regular floss. We can assure you that they work great, and what you use should just be based on personal preference. Many find the ease of use and convenience helps with compliance. Dental floss picks make a great stocking stuffer.
Although no amount of scraping can replace good brushing, the benefits of cleaning your tongue have made it a routine part of many people’s hygiene routine. Debris, bacteria, and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health. Using a tongue scraper can help remove this buildup, making it a great addition to our list.
Did you know that proper brushing takes at least two minutes? Most adults do not come close to brushing that long, so anything that helps us spend the time needed to do a thorough job is money well spent. These two-minute egg timers are a great way to encourage thorough brushing habits.
Mouthwash is a great tool in our oral hygiene arsenal. When used together with brushing and flossing, it’s a great way to prevent gingivitis and even kill cavity-causing bacteria left behind in the mouth to prevent decay. As an added benefit, it also makes your mouth feel extra clean and gives you fresh breath.
Whether it’s at the gym or during your lunch hour, a dental hygiene travel set can be a handy bit of kit to have. Nearly any convenience store or pharmacy will have plenty of options for traditional dental hygiene supplies in a travel-friendly, compact version. A toothbrush (with a cover), fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinse, and floss should all be a part of any oral hygiene kit.
Even brushing and flossing every day won’t be enough to prevent cavities if the toothpaste is fluoride-free. If the product has a seal from the ADA (American Dental Association), that means the product has been tested and deemed safe and effective.
~Dr. Marea White