During this gift-giving season, some dentists are helping consumers deliver two front teeth or a brighter smile to their loved ones, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.
"Each holiday season, patients ask us about dental gift certificates," says Craig Valentine, DMD, spokesperson for the Academy. "They really enjoy giving this present because it's something their friends and family members will actually use and remember."
"This gift may serve may motivate Mom to close her front tooth gap, or help Uncle George whiten his smile," says Dr. Valentine.
Although nagging dental problems are often easily repaired, a dental gift certificate for a specific procedure may not solve every tooth woe.
"Talk to your dentist first and discuss the recipient's oral health status," suggests Dr. Valentine. "The dentist may determine that an initial check up and consultation gift certificate would be the best option."
Stocking stuffers to improve oral health Lip balm - prevents outdoor enthusiasts from cold sores Toothbrush - should be changed every three months, especially during cold and flu season when bacteria and viruses remain on the toothbrush and can serve to lengthen illnesses Travel-sized floss - flossing after holiday meals helps prevent gum disease, which has been connected to other health complications, including heart disease and diabetes. Straws - using one when drinking coffee and tea prevents enamel stains Sugarless gum - chewing motion reduces bad breath and triples the regular amount of saliva; nature's buffer against cavities.