Safe Holiday Treats for Teeth

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.

  • Shampoo
  • Bubble bath
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash or Dental Rinse
  • Lotion
  • 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.

Five Stocking Stuffers for Better Dental Health

To many kids, Christmas is a time for sweet desserts and lots of candy. While these sweet treats are great in moderation, they can also mean bad news for your child’s teeth. You don’t have to completely avoid sweets this holiday season to protect your child’s teeth. You simply need to give them some stocking stuffers that are fun, sweet and good for dental health.

Fun Toothbrushes

Giving a child a toothbrush as a stocking stuffer can seem like a boring idea, but many kids would find the gift to be very fun if the toothbrush has special features. For instance, many child toothbrushes come with character designs from numerous popular shows and movies that kids love. You can also buy toothbrushes that have flashing lights, glow in the dark and play music.

Xylitol Products

You can give your child a better alternative to foods filled with sugar by giving them xylitol products. Xylitol is a sweet teeth-friendly alternative to sugar. You can buy numerous sweet snacks with xylitol instead of sugar such as chewing gum, candies and mints. You can even get mouthwash and toothpaste with xylitol to make your child’s brushing experience tasty and enjoyable.

Flavored Toothpaste and Floss

Most parents buy mint flavored toothpaste and floss. It is definitely the most popular flavor since it leaves you with a clean and fresh feeling after you brush your teeth, but it can also get boring after a while. Toothpaste and floss come in many flavors to make brushing and flossing a fun experience. Some more common alternative flavors are cinnamon and peach, but some of the more interesting, fun and bizarre selections include chocolate, frosting, vanilla, lime and even bacon.

Toothbrush Holder

Like toothbrushes, toothbrush holders come in many shapes and sizes. They can be character themed, shaped like rockets and cars, glow in the dark and light up. While the toothbrush holder itself won’t improve dental health, having a fun toothbrush holder can make a child more excited to go brush their teeth every day.

Sports Mouth Guard

If your child plays a sport, a new mouth guard can be a great stocking stuffer for them. Most schools require the use of a mouth guard when playing sports to protect children from damaging their teeth while playing, but many kids neglect to wear them. Getting them a new mouth guard as a stocking stuffer helps ensure that your child has a clean and strong mouth guard to use while playing sports. In addition, getting mouth guards in new styles and colors can help prompt your child to use a mouth guard on a regular basis while playing.


These stocking stuffers can help ensure that your child’s dental health stays in great shape throughout the entirety of the holiday season and into the new year. However, the most important aspect of dental health is practicing good dental hygiene daily. Here are some of the best ways to keep both you and your child’s teeth healthy and strong as you enjoy some Christmas sweets.

  • Drink plenty of water. Water not only helps keep your body hydrated and flushes out toxins, but drinking water regularly is vital to good dental health. It keeps you fuller longer, helping you avoid snacking, and it washes residue from your teeth.
  • Brush and floss a half hour after eating sweets. It’s a common misconception that you should immediately brush and floss after every meal, especially if it’s sugary. However, enamel softens after you eat, and brushing immediately after eating can actually damage teeth. It takes about a half hour for enamel to regain its strength.
  • Don’t bite hard candies like candy canes. You can easily end up cracking a tooth if you bite down in the wrong way.

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.

The Benefits Of Straight Teeth

It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of children require orthodontic treatment in order to correct problems they have with the alignment of their teeth. Most children do not like wearing braces, and they can be expensive. However, braces help straighten teeth, which has many benefits. Below is a list of the benefits of straight teeth:Read more

healthy food for your teeth

Top Foods for Healthy Teeth

When you eat the right foods, it’ll help you ward off mouth-related diseases, tartar, plaque and gingivitis. Keep your teeth and gums in excellent shape by eating your way to a healthy smile. Here are great food choices to incorporate into your diet for healthy teeth:Read more

Cavity-free Halloween

Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Cavity Free this Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and soon your neighborhood will be full of costumed children hoping to scare up a few treats. While an overflowing bag of candy is sure to bring your kids delight, it is important to remember that Halloween sweets can be scary for teeth. This year, keep your kids cavity-free by using these fun tricks for minimizing the potential damage that comes along with the treats.Read more

importance of sealants

Does Your Child Need Sealants Again?

Kids and candy; they seem to go together. One thing parents are concerned about with candy is dental caries, also known as ‘cavities’. While brushing with a good fluoride toothpaste takes care of most of the sugar left on the teeth, a small amount may remain in the deep fissures of the molars and premolars. The sugar that remains in the fissures will eventually develop into a cavity.Read more

Does Your Kid Need Braces

Signs That Your Child Needs Braces

Braces are an essential orthodontic procedure for many young people. However, the signs that your child may need braces are not always obvious. While some kids will present obvious and clear dental flaws that need correcting, such as crooked or missing teeth, others may have dental issues that aren’t as easily detected by a simple glance.

Only a dentist or orthodontist can determine for sure if your child needs corrective braces. However, smart parents should know the signs that their kids might be good candidates. Here are some of the signs that your child needs braces.Read more

the right toothpaste

How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for You

Choosing the right toothpaste is something that should be simple since so many types exist. A consumer could play “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” and end up with a tasty toothpaste tube. However, smart consumers will want to select a toothpaste brand that will prolong their teeth’s health, minimize bacteria growth, and leave them with a sparkly fresh toothpaste on a daily basis. Choosing the right brand of toothpaste takes some self-questioning and research. The following is a process that one may want to use to select a brand of toothpaste:Read more

white teeth for children

Should You Have Your Child's Teeth Whitened?

A beautiful smile that reveals pearly white teeth is one of the most important assets a person can have in life. The following are reasons why you should give your child the gift of gorgeous white teeth.

Socialization and the Human Smile

Human beings are social creatures. During social interactions, we instinctively and unconsciously mimic each other’s body postures and facial expressions. When we look at a beautiful smile, brain areas that are associated with pleasure are activated. The same is true when we smile ourselves. Research shows that our moods are elevated even by smiles that are artificially created (such as biting a pencil). Therefore the human smile is an indispensable social mechanism that facilitates bonding and cooperation by releasing endorphins (natural feel good brain chemicals) every time we smile and see others smile.

Childhood Is the Most Crucial Stage

When your conversation partner smiles, you are compelled to reciprocate with a smile of your own. But if you’re self-conscious about having yellow teeth, your anxiety will not only significantly dampen your smile but also the mood of the conversation. Now look at it from your child’s perspective. As children age, they become increasingly self-conscious about their appearance, which peeks during adolescence. This is a stage where children explore what it’s like to be semi-independent and try to establish connections with the outside world. It’s also a stage where a child’s confidence can be either enhanced or destroyed by his or her physical appearance. A social rejection that’s due to unclean teeth could be traumatic for a young mind. Any disadvantages and difficulties during this crucial period could have unforeseen consequences for your child’s future.

Deeper Than Appearance

Because we are social beings, our sense of identity and self-worth is deeply tied to how we are perceived in the eyes of others. This is especially true for children who easily internalize the negativity of others and blame themselves for their troubles. A smile with beautiful pearly teeth isn’t just about appearances, it’s really about the confidence that it creates within your child. Unfortunately having yellow teeth is indelibly associated with sickness and low social status. Even though your child is healthy and smart, his or her social status will be negatively impacted by dirty teeth. Cruel and unfair though it may be, this is a fact of life. Don’t let unattractive teeth be the reason that your son’s confidence is not as high as it should be. And don’t allow yellow teeth be the reason that your daughter feels lonely because she thinks everyone at school is judgmental about her teeth.

The Utility of White Teeth

Aside from improvements in appearance, having clean white teeth helps children to keep up their dental hygiene. Once your child notices all the social benefits that come from have a beautiful smile, you child will have more than enough motivation to continue to keep his or her teeth clean and healthy. Gone are the days when you have to worry about getting your child to brush or floss. A valuable lesson can also be learned from this. After your child has learned about all the benefits that come with self-improvement in this domain, he or she will be able to generalize from this experience and apply it to other areas of life, such as sports and academics.

There is nothing but upsides when it comes to possessing a mouthful of gorgeous white teeth. If your family lives in the Chino area, appoint a meeting with the child dental experts at Kids Dental Specialists.

Kids with good flossing habits

How to Teach Your Children Good Flossing Habits

Brushing and flossing are both essential to achieving the perfect smile. However, a surprising number of people who habitually brush twice a day find ways to put off flossing.
This is because they believe it is either too tedious or it doesn’t matter. In reality, if you don’t floss, you are going to lose your teeth. That fact makes it very important for parents to instill good flossing habits in their children at a young age.

Importance of Flossing

Flossing regularly and carefully, as well as brushing properly, helps get rid of the 400 species of bacteria that live and ferment in the human mouth. If not tended to, these bacteria gradually infect the gums and underlying bones, and this eventually leads to both tooth loosening and tooth loss.

Getting Your Kids to Floss

The attention spans of kids makes it very difficult to teach them good oral hygiene. It can take several days just to show them how to hold a toothbrush, what’s the right amount of toothpaste, and how to make sure they clean all of their teeth. If you’re a parent, you know first-hand how much patience it takes to keep your child still long enough to teach them all of that. But still, your teaching doesn’t end with brushing. You now have to teach them how to floss.

Make it Fun

Nothing can be dry and boring when it comes to teaching kids anything. To keep them interested, your methods have to be fun, engaging, and entertaining. Otherwise, you’ve already lost. Turn flossing into a dance party, storytelling event, or a plot between good and evil.
Play snappy songs with a slow beat during flossing time to help your kid move their hands in-time with the floss. Don’t use a fast beat because moving the floss too fast can damage gums. Moving in rhythm with a beat will help them get used to having the floss against their gums, but after they get the hang of it, make sure they use proper technique.
Children love exploring their mouths, so take advantage of that by turning flossing into a fun math lesson. While they’re flossing, have your children count their teeth. Small children have 20 teeth, so this exercise will help them count up to what they consider a large number.
Putting a flossing chart in the bathroom is a great way to engage, remind, and track your child’s flossing. After each floss, have them put a sticker on the corresponding day. After the end of each week, give them a prize if they flossed at least once per day. An example of a prize is going to bed later on the weekend. A small incentive will keep them motivated to floss. You can find printable charts online.

What to Teach

It’s important to slide the floss all the way to gum level. Using an “up-and-down” motion, massage your gums, pressing the floss into the crevice between your teeth. Don’t use a sawing motion, which can cause cuts in the gum tissue or grooves or ridges in the tooth or root surfaces. When flossing press firmly because a light touch doesn’t do the job. Use a different piece of floss for the upper and lower jaw.

Types of Floss

There are two commonly used forms of floss:
Disposable plastic units resemble miniature slingshots and are sold in many supermarkets and drug stores. They are able to get between teeth pretty well and they make flossing easier, especially in the back of the mouth. These are great for children because they are easy to use.
Nylon flossing line is the more traditional form of floss. If used, cut about 14 inches of floss and wrap it around the middle or index finger of each hand. Pull the floss tight, keeping an inch or less between the fingers. Let out new line as you move between teeth.