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Give the gift of oral health this holiday season

holiday gift

This holiday season, don’t let oral health go out the window. Check out these great gift ideas to keep your friends and family members smiling all winter long.

“Eating foods that are high in sugar, without proper oral care, can result in tooth decay and cavities,” said Kevin Sheu, DDS, director of professional services for Delta Dental. “What better way to counteract the extra sugars and starches we often consume during the holiday season than to give your friends and family the tools to care for their teeth.”

To promote great dental health, try these tooth-friendly stocking stuffers.

A toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste

Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is an effective strategy for fighting tooth decay. Removing plaque left by holiday sweets will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

For gift-giving, an alternative to the conventional toothbrush is the electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes come with vibrating, oscillating or sonic brush heads; and the basic models are relatively inexpensive.

Besides brush type, you also have a choice of bristle type. Hard bristle toothbrushes were once recommended but have since been shown to be too abrasive to the teeth and gums. Give a toothbrush with soft, rounded nylon bristles.

Dental floss

While a toothbrush is effective in cleaning tooth surfaces, the bristles cannot adequately clean between the teeth. Dental floss will help remove food from those hard-to-reach areas.

There are many types of dental floss to choose from — unwaxed or waxed, flavored or unflavored, and regular or wide. Waxed floss may be easier to slide through tight teeth, while unwaxed floss will spread out its fibers during use for greater tooth contact. For a special treat, give holiday-flavored floss, like cinnamon.

Sugar-free gum

Acids in the mouth have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel. Many studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks helps reduce the acid level and can stimulate the flow of saliva, which cleanses the mouth, especially at times when brushing is impractical. Give gum that includes xylitol, an artificial sweetener shown to reduce cavities.

Last updated: December 2016

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.