Certain holidays are known for their sweet treats, and Christmas is one of the biggest. Stockings are frequently stuffed with chocolate Santa figures, lollipops and gooey gummy candies and holiday parties have trays of delicious cookies and cakes. All of these may be loved by children, but the damage they can cause to a smile is undeniable. Luckily, there is a happy middle-ground where little ones can still receive plenty of fun treats, without their parents calculating the damage being done to their teeth.
The Old-fashioned Approach
Traditional stocking stuffers were once oranges. Include one with the story of how oranges became a common stocking stuffer because of St. Nicholas leaving gold in the stockings of three poor, young women. In order to help them, he tossed gold into the house one night through the chimney. It landed into their stockings that were hanging on the mantle to dry. During the night the stockings dried and the gold coins turned into balls of gold in the toes of stockings. The orange symbolizes the initial act of charity by the man who came to be known as Santa Claus, and is why stockings are still hung, and filled, today.
Choose Healthier Candy
Every child will want some sweet treats no matter what else they receive. Sugar-free gum and lollipops are a better choice than their sugary counterparts, and are still enjoyable for children. Dark chocolate, while not appreciated by all children because of its bitter taste, when eaten in moderation is heart-healthy.
Gum Making Kits
Yes, these kits contain sugar, but the amount added can be adjusted, or a sugar substitute can be used instead. This product is a learning experience, because the kits come with information explaining where all the ingredients come from and how it is harvested. They include natural ingredients and are a fun experiment for children.
Look for Organic
Cookies, gummy bears and brownies are just a few of the organic products available from natural food stores that offer a lot of fun and flavor, without the corn syrup and preservatives. Many of these products are also gluten-free and vegan, so they are perfect for kids with special dietary needs. In addition to being delicious and fun, most will offer additional benefits like a high amounts of Vitamin C or protein, making the small amount of sugar less worrisome because of their overall nutritional value.
Add Hygiene Items
Most kids, especially young children, love personal care products. A fun toothbrush, their very own toothpaste and dental floss in cute containers are more popular than many people believe. Create a small pack of everything they would need for taking with them to grandma’s house, on a slumber party or camping. This could include travel size bottles of a variety of items.
- Bubble bath
- Mouthwash or Dental Rinse
- Perfume or cologne – for teens
The holidays are a time for relaxing and celebrating. Sweets are a natural part of this event, but they do not have to overtake common sense. Parents who want the best for their children, can provide a much better option than the overdone sugar-loaded stockings many people think are necessary. With a little extra thought, stockings can still be fun, but safer for healthy smiles.
At Kids Dental Specialists in Chino, CA, pediatric dentists devote their professional lives to revitalizing and enhancing the natural beauty of your child’s smile. We look forward to helping you improve your dental health. Make an appointment today.