We are well into the holiday season! Have you purchased all your needed gifts yet? Maybe you are a planner who gets started months in advance, or possibly you rush out at the last minute to do your holiday shopping, but no matter your gift-buying type, you can’t go wrong by giving the gift of better oral health. So, next time you’re at the store picking up another gift, consider adding a few of these dental health holiday gifts or stocking stuffers to your cart.

New Toothbrushes

It’s suggested by the American Dental Association (ADA) to get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months, but that’s not always the case for everyone. Popping a new toothbrush into someone’s stocking is the perfect way to reset the toothbrush clock.

Not sure what kind of brush to buy? For the teenage and adult brushers on your list, an electric toothbrush is a gift that provides a better, fresher cleaning. More than traditional brushing, an electric toothbrush offers an efficient, thorough cleaning thanks to the slow, methodical movements and the fact it hugs the gum line during brushing. For early brushers, such as toddlers, look for softer bristle brushes. Buying for a school-aged kid? Find a toothbrush in their favorite color or with a beloved cartoon character on it to get them excited about brushing their teeth.

Travel Oral Care

Small, travel size containers of toothpaste and mouthwash are convenient to have for travel, sleepovers, and even at the office. The ease of a small, portable tube of toothpaste and disposable oral products really comes in handy when you’re not at home. Drop your compact travel toothpaste into your overnight back, while disposable oral care products such as travel mouthwash or mouthwash tabs are great to throw into backpacks or briefcases for freshness to-go. Add a fun zipper pouch and some floss or floss picks to make a full on-the-go dental kit; there’s no excuses for bad oral health in the new year!

Sugar-free Gum and Mints

Know someone who is always popping a mint or piece of gum? Protect their teeth with sugar-free alternatives. Sugar-free gum and mints are tasty, mouth-healthy treats that are an easy last-minute gift add on. But more than that, they help promote saliva production, preventing dry mouth and helping to clean bacteria and food particles out of mouths. Gum and mints can also be a great distraction for other habits, like smoking or nail biting, which contribute to poor dental health.

Mouth Guards

Have an athlete in the family? A mouth guard is a great stocking stuffer, and athletes who wear them are drastically less likely to sustain a sports-related dental injury. There are a number of good over-the-counter options to protect your sports enthusiast, but be sure to avoid cheaper versions in favor of moldable boil and bite versions, which conform to teeth and bite for better protection. Most retailers even have over-the-counter mouth guard options for those with braces. Looking for something more effective? You can always consult with your dentist about getting a custom guard made. This is suggested for those suffering from TMJ issues or disorders. If you choose to go the route of an over-the-counter option, be sure to check the size of the guard because a good fit is essential.

Teeth Whitening

The gift of a brighter smile is one anyone will love. The majority of people who undergo an in-office treatment with their dental provider or do an at-home treatment notice a positive difference in the whiteness of their smile. If your budget has room, opt for a teeth whitening treatment performed by a trained professional in a dental office setting. Dentists are able to control the level of peroxide in the solutions they use, which enables them to tailor a whitening solution to a patient’s sensitivity levels, as well as reduce gum irritation from exposure to potent whitening solutions.

Small Toys and Gifts

Some of the best oral care gifts you can give aren’t for mouths at all. Swap out candy and treats for toys, gadgets, or other items. This reduces the temptation to indulge in sugary candy and treats, which can lead to tooth decay. Here are a few non-candy ideas:

  • Puzzles
  • Cozy socks
  • Coloring books
  • Other toiletries, such as shampoo or bubble bath
  • Art supplies
  • Books or magazines

When you focus on adding more non-candy related gifts to your list, you keep everyone happy and sugar free – at least for the time being.

Give the Gift of Oral Health this Holiday Season

While the holidays are all about family, food, and fun festivities, don’t let it be at the expense of your and your family’s oral health. By gifting dental-conscious stocking stuffers and holiday gifts, you can ensure a new year of healthy, happy smiles. Looking into the new year and ready to schedule your routine cleaning? Give University General Dentists in Knoxville, TN, a call today at one of our convenient locations, University of Tennessee Medical Center Office at 865-305-9440 or our West Knoxville office at 865-500-5700.