Still Shopping? Skip the Sweets and Provide Safer Treats


If you still haven’t completed your Christmas shopping, fret not. There is still time to get those last-minute gifts to put under the tree, and perhaps more importantly, to fill those stockings the kids hung with such care. Sadly, under a time crunch, many parents resort to stuffing stockings with an amount of candy they would otherwise deem ridiculous. And that overload of sugar can, unfortunately, cause potential problems for teeth, such as dental cavities. To avoid starting the new year visiting the restorative dentist for dental fillings, as a family, opt for equally fun options, but ones without all the potentially smile-damaging sugar!

Don’t Wreck Their Smiles with Copious Amounts of Candy

What child doesn’t delight in dumping the entire contents of his stocking out on the floor to sort through the loot, come Christmas morning? While candy will certainly elicit a smile during that initial discovery, it won’t leave anyone smiling if it leads to dental cavities.

Smile-friendly alternatives, include:

  • Small games, puzzles and toys are always popular options, and ones that can be found affordably at most stores this time of year. You can even find miniature versions of many of your kids’ favorite games, which make great entertainment on those long car rides home from grandma and grandpa’s.
  • Stickers, temporary tattoos, and nail decorations are also fun and interactive. Look for them, either in seasonal themes like snowmen and reindeer, or featuring your kids’ favorite cartoon characters, etc.
  • Most parents opt to throw in a few practical items along with the fun stuff, so consider some basics for dental hygiene, along with fresh pairs of socks. Toothbrushes and floss are great gifts this time of year, especially, since you never know who might forget one while traveling, or get sick and need a new one to swap out.