Valentine’s Day is a holiday that can leave many parents feeling conflicted. Anything that gives you an excuse to spoil your kiddos with gifts and tell them how much you love them is a welcome retreat from the daily grind of handing out chores and pushing through homework. One daily parenting task that commonly elicits dread is convincing your children to brush their teeth. Every parent knows how important their children’s oral health is, and instilling solid early oral hygiene practices so that your kids can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles is even more important. Thus the downside of Valentine’s Day: all the sugary treats.
Valentine’s Day is almost as notorious a threat to your kids’ teeth as Halloween. They inevitably come home from their classroom celebrations with paper bags full of chocolate and handfuls of candies with messages of love written on them. While these lovely confections please your kids, they are anxiety inducing when you catch yourself considering the damage being done to your children’s tiny pearly whites.
That’s not to mention the difficulty you face when trying to figure out gifts to give them and Valentines they can give to their friends and classmates that won’t cause cavities. While you can’t control what they will be bringing home, you can skip on contributing to acts of love that promote decay. Below we have put together four DIY, tooth-healthy Valentine’s Day gift ideas that show love while also producing happy, healthy smiles.
“You Make Me Smile” Toothbrush Valentine (Adapted from Time 2 Save Time 2 Give): This Valentine is simple to make and sends a sweet message while promoting good oral hygiene habits. You will need child-friendly toothbrushes, ribbon, colored paper, and a marker. Simply cut small hearts out of the paper and write a Valentine’s Day message like “You Make Me Smile” on each one. Attach ribbon to the back of the heart with tape and tie it to a toothbrush (still in package). You children’s classmates won’t be the only ones grinning! You can bet their parents will be feeling the love too.
Paper Airplane Valentine Free Printable NoBiggie.net offers a free customizable, printable airplane Valentine that is perfect for the future pilots in your family. It’s quick and easy to make with corresponding numbers to help guide your way, and there’s even a video tutorial to walk you through creating the airplanes, making this a great last-minute go-to if you’ve been procrastinating.
I’m Nuts About You Treat Bag Printable (From Design Dining Diapers): If your children just have to hand out yummy treats, bags of peanuts are perfect. This tooth-friendly treat is low in sugar and high in protein, and if you go to the Design Dining Diapers site and follow the instructions, you can download a printable tag that says “I’m Nuts About You” and use it to fasten shut your baggie full of peanuts, leaving your children with a fun, yummy Valentine to hand out to friends.
Lunchtime Love: Show your children how much you love them with a little lunchtime love. You can give your children yummy hearts that aren’t made out of chocolate. Most kitchen-supply stores carry stainless-steel sandwich cutters in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use heart-shaped cutters to turn a turkey sandwich in a friendly reminder that you care. Smaller cutters can be used for meat and cheese slices or to turn slices of melon into a juicy, red dessert.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to lead to decay; there are plenty of candy-less ways to celebrate love. If your children come home with bags full of sugary goodies, make sure they brush their teeth after every treat — and then call us to book an appointment for a cleaning.