February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which we at Patterson couldn’t be happier about! You best believe we’ll take any chance we can get to talk about the importance of children’s oral hygiene. Research has shown time and time again that our health habits develop very early in life. Not only that, but once habits are ingrained they’re exceedingly difficult to change. So, in order to give our tots the best possible shot at growing into happy healthy adults with happy healthy mouths, we’ve got to start young! Each of this month’s tooth picks are products designed to get kids excited about oral care. From light-up tooth brushes with built-in timers, to cherry flavored chewables that reveal which teeth need more brushing, we’ve put together 5 of the most exciting items to get kids hyped about hygiene!
1. SPARKLE FUN TOOTHPASTE
Sparkle Fun Toothpaste – Shop
Be honest: you have totally used a dollop or two of this toothpaste longgg after exiting childhood. Who could blame you? It’s blue, it’s sparkly, and it tastes like yummy bubblegum. The reason you continue to occasionally sneak a brush full of this toothpaste, is the same reason kids will love using this product themselves: it’s FUN! And if kids are enjoying the brushing process, you’re well on your way to encouraging healthy oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. As a bonus, this toothpaste’s formula contains Fluoristat, a cavity-fighting fluoride that’s gentle on tooth enamel.
2. INTERACTIVE TOOTHBRUSHES
Fun toothpaste is of no benefit unless you have something just as exciting to glob it upon! Here are four of our favorite children’s toothbrush options, and what makes them stand out from the crowd:
Crayola Timer Light Toothbrush
As its name suggests, these brushes come with a very special feature: simply press the bottom of the brush and a light-up timer will start. The bright light, which is color-coordinated to match whichever of the “crayons” kids choose, flashes for two minutes, the length of time that dentists recommend brushing for. Plus, the bottom is a suction cup so you can store this brush on a clean counter top, rather than in a dirty drawer.
Oral-B Stages Youth Toothbrush
These cuties are made for kids age 5-7, but we also carry brushes in the Stages line intended for children as young as 4 months, and as old as 12. They’re plastered with images of beloved Disney/Pixar movie characters, and from handle to bristle they’re multicolored and charming. Additionally, purchasing any of these Oral-B brushes grants you access to download a free app called “Disney Magic Timer,” which encourages longer brushing with the use of Disney music, sound effects, and digital sticker collecting.
Star Wars Children’s Travel Toothbrush
These travel brushes are perfect for today’s overbooked tots on the go. Each set includes a plastic toothbrush cover, which helps keeps bristles germ free. It’s not just any cover, mind you, but one with a holographic image that switches between the Symbol of the First Order, and the Symbol of the Rebel Alliance. Between the eye-catching case and handles wrapped with fan favorite characters like BB-8 and Kylo Ren, this is one brush kids will ALWAYS remember to stick in their overnight bags and backpacks!
Patterson Junior Toothbrush
Is there anything more exciting than picking out your special toothbrush from a dentist’s treasure trove of color options? Not only is the decision-making process fun, but when kids participate in the choice, they feel a closer connection to the experience. These brushes come in eight striking hues, so there’s a shade for every child’s preference. Another cool feature? They can be personalized! Engraving a dental practice’s contact information, an organization’s logo, or even a silly phrase like “You don’t have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep,” are all great ways to turn this into a brush kids will want to reach for time and time again.
3. FUN FLOSSERS
Wouldn’t you say that convincing your kids to floss can often be like…pulling teeth? It doesn’t have to be! A variety of manufacturers have “funified” flossing by creating disposable flossers shaped like all sorts of creatures from the animal kingdom, in a variety of funky colors. Here are three of our favorite options, and why:
These grape flavored Crayola flossers stand out the most for their unique colors, and include a floss formula coated with fluoride.
Plackers Animal Flossers
These mixed berry flavored Plackers flossers have the edge when it comes to quantity – each sample pack contains four flossers, which means kids will be able to get multiple uses from one package.
These Wild flossers are the largest of the bunch, which is great for young children that are still developing manual dexterity. The relatively large size will allow them to have the easiest time flossing all by themselves! Also, they’re shaped like dinosaurs. Need we say more?
4. FESTIVE FLUORIDE
ACT Fluoride Rinse – Shop
Listerine Fluoride Rinse – Shop
If you put a child’s favorite character on anything, that thing instantly doubles in fun. Fluoride rinses are no exception. Listerine has one bottle style which displays Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Frozen, and another which depicts The Avengers crew, proudly fighting crime (and cavities!). Likewise, ACT has one bottle design that features Spongebob, and a travel sized option – perfect for sticking in backpacks or lockers for an after lunch rinse – that comes in a perfectly princessy pink hue. Both products are alcohol-free, bubble gum flavored, and they even tint food particles so that when swishing and spitting is complete, kids can see evidence of the icky bacteria they killed right there in the sink!
5. TASTY TABLETS
GUM Red-Cote Disclosants – Shop
It’s no secret that children are extremely visual learners, so the idea of plaque, a virtually invisible enemy, can be hard for them to wrap their minds around. Chewable disclosing agents are super cool, since they give plaque a “face” to fight! After brushing or flossing, kids can simply pop in a cherry flavored disclosant tablet, and the vegetable dye-based chewable will turn any remaining plaque bright red, clearly showing them where further attention is needed. As long as you can deal with red-mouthed kids running around the house trying to scare you for a few minutes, this unique and interactive product is worth a try. It’s also available in liquid form, with the same pleasant cherry flavor.
If putting sparkly toothpaste atop a light-up toothbrush, flossing with a dinosaur, and becoming a plaque detective doesn’t get your child excited for oral care, we’re not sure what will! Do you have experience with these products? Do kids love them as much as we suggest? Are there any healthy habit-inspiring products we may have missed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.