Dental Blog

Five Candy-Free Ideas for Your Little Ones on Valentine’s Day

Thursday, January 24, 2019
valentines-day-oral-health-kiss-lips

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re a parent of a young child, it’s likely they’ll have an opportunity (or a few) at some point that day to exchange Valentine’s goodies with friends. We love the sentiment of this holiday, but encourage families to get creative and avoid the typical sugary Valentine’s treats. Here are a few Valentine’s suggestions that are fun, but won’t cause tooth decay.

• Sugarless Gum.

The American Dental Association notes that the right kind of chewing gum has been scientifically proven to protect teeth. The act of chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth, which helps neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced by bacteria in plaque on teeth. Bazooka Sugar Free Bubble Gum (Original and Blue Razz) is ADA Approved.

• Sticker Fun.

Pinterest is an amazing resource for all kinds of candy-free Valentine’s Day ideas. One of our favorite finds was this list from Bombshell Bling, with 30 ideas for crafts, cards, games and more. We loved the idea of stocking up on stickers at the dollar store, packaging them in small cellophane bags, and attaching a cute card (she shares the free printable) that reads, “I’m stuck on you, Valentine!”

• Bookmarks.

We love this idea from Positively Splendid. Another simple printable idea, these bookmark crafts say, “You’re #1 in My Book.” All you need is card stock, 6 inches of ribbon for every bookmark, a hole punch and scissors.

• Silly Straws.

Kids love silly straws. Add a silly straw to any cup, and it’s automatically a celebration. Here’s a great, free printable from It’s Always Autumn. Check the dollar store for packages of silly straws. Then, follow the instructions to make these cute cards that read, “I think you’re exSTRAW special!”

• “You Make Me Smile” Toothbrush.

Buy a quantity of child-friendly toothbrushes. Make a heart with the Valentine’s Day message, “You make me smile.” Tie the hearts to the toothbrushes. These are both fun and practical for everyone.

Avoiding sweets all together on Valentine’s Day probably isn’t possible. If your kids come home with a bag of goodies, make this a teachable moment. Talk to them about the importance of good oral hygiene after snacking. Show them how important it is to brush and floss away the sugary residue that can harm their teeth. And remind them how important it is to schedule regular visits to the dentist to make sure their smiles stay healthy as they grow.