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Give the gift of great oral health

It may be tradition to stuff stockings with candy and sweet treats, but it’s not much of a gift for your loved ones’ teeth. We’ve rounded up 10 great gift ideas that are fun and cavity-free.

Go “Gourmet.” You’ve probably seen those novelty floss and toothpaste flavors: cupcake, bacon, pickle, even salad. The eyebrow-raising toothpaste flavors are typically not fluoridated (and therefore not approved by the American Dental Association), so they’re not meant for everyday use. There’s no harm, however, in a taste test!

Upgrade to Electric. Electric toothbrushes are more than just “nice to have.” They can actually be more effective than manual brushes and are particularly useful for seniors with arthritis or people with physical disabilities that make it difficult to wield manual toothbrushes.

Brighten Their Days. Know someone who wouldn’t mind a megawatt grin? Consider over-the-counter whitening strips as bright stocking stuffers. Include a note to make sure the recipient knows to consult his or her dentist before starting a new whitening routine.

Chew Away. You don’t have to eliminate all sweet treats from your gift-giving arsenal. Throw in a few packs of chewing gum containing the ingredient xylitol to help suppress the bacteria that cause tooth decay. If xylitol gum is not available, sugar-free gum is a good alternative — and also increases saliva flow to help wash food debris from teeth.

Sweets, Minus the Sugar. Similarly, a few pieces of sugar-free candy will keep the fun factor high but the possibility of cavities low. Don’t overdo it, though. High levels of sorbitol, a substance often found in sugar-free items, can lead to an upset stomach.

Presents for the Pick-y. Floss picks are great for travel purposes, for kids learning how to floss or for people with limited dexterity. Bonus: They come in lots of fun colors.

Wind it up. Wind-up chattering teeth have graced toy store shelves since 1949. Bestow one upon someone who appreciates nostalgia — or introduce a new generation to an old classic.

Hold it up. Who says toothbrushes have to be stored in plain plastic cups? From a lobster clutching toothbrushes in its claws to tiny tree branches that keep them standing, there are tons of fun ways to keep toothbrushes organized. Just make sure the holder allows for upright storage and that the toothbrushes don’t touch to prevent germs from spreading.

Roll it up. A thoughtful gift for the frugal person in your life is a toothpaste clamp or two. Clamps fit on the end of the tube and help get out every last drop. You can get a plain-Jane one for the utilitarian-minded person in your life, or a cute, animal-shape clamp for the young or young at heart.

Insure the Future. Unfortunately, not everyone has the dental coverage they want or need. If someone you know falls under this category, consider gifting them a Delta Dental individual plan. It’s an especially thoughtful way to get grandkids or other children in your life on the road to a lifetime of good oral health.

Need help? Finding a dentist has never been easier. Look for a TRDP network dentist and save on your out-of-pocket costs.

Last updated December 2017

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