Every year December, 123 Dentist customers fill their stockings with the usual gadgets and candies, but a stocking is the perfect opportunity to sneak in that practical gift for a child or teenager and even impress your partner or friend with thoughtful gifts that last long after that Cadbury Santa has been forgotten. Besides, what better way to feel great about stuffing Candy Canes and chocolate into a stocking than to pair them with something healthy for your teeth?
Who’s It For? – The Sports Enthusiast
Mouth Guards can and should be custom made at a dentist, but for casual sports there are a number of good over the counter options to protect your athlete from injury. Be sure to avoid cheap, over the counter mouth guards in favour of mouldable boil and bite models, which you can find at most sporting stores and large retail department stores. If you’re looking for a better, more effective option, or for something to assist with TMJ disorders, consult your dentist about a custom guard, which is always the recommended option. One piece of advice would be to check the size on the guard, because without a custom fit, some mouth guards won’t fit well, and a good fit is essential.
Manual Tooth Brush
Who’s It For? – Anyone with Teeth
A toothbrush comes in many shapes and sizes, and should be replaced every 6 months, making it a perfect addition to any stocking or gift bag. If you’re a parent looking to encourage regular brushing for a child, make it fun with themed brushes from their favourite cartoon or movie. Find a travel brush for friends and family who move around and show you know someone with a brush that matches their favourite colour. A manual tooth brush, when used twice a day for two minutes with flossing can keep your teeth and gums healthy. The price range is anywhere from $2-$5, making it affordable too. Make sure you look for a soft bristle brush!
Electric Tooth Brush
Who’s It For? – The Young Adult In Need
The trouble with old fashioned manual tooth brushes is that they don’t do as good a job cleaning your teeth unless used properly and often. Most dentists recommend an electric toothbrush, and you can find many different options in a myriad of price ranges. Philips Sonic Care and Oral-B are the two most reliable brands for an electric brush, each with models from $60-$200. Simple models offer rechargeable bases and replaceable heads, which should be changed every 3 months or so. More advanced and higher end models will hold charges for weeks and come with travel cases to keep brushes from turning on in travel and the heads sanitary.
Baby Tooth Brush
Who’s It For? – The New Mom
Technically brushes like the Summer Infant Gentle Vibrations model are electric, but this brush and others like it are designed for toddlers, with gentle bristles and motion to ease a child into brushing habits. The brush comes with a charger, replacement head and mirror to make sure no tooth is missed. It’s price is under $15, making it affordable for any new or expecting mother. You can also try brushing fingers, rubber covers that help with new borns that don’t have teeth yet. Getting a toddler used to having some kind of brush in their mouth, even before teeth appear is very important to their development later on, and the mother (or father) you give the gift to will remember that.
Dental Treatment Certificate
Who’s It For? – The College Student
Many 123 Dentist clinics, if not all our clinics, will offer some form of gift certificate or voucher for prepaid service. Specific services like Laser Whitening or Hygiene Service are affordable and completed in a single visit. Prices vary depending on a patient’s needs, but a gift voucher makes a trip to the dentist less stressful and can be a perfect send off for that graduating high school senior or a graduate heading to college. Most 123 Dentist clinics adhere to the College of Dental Surgeons pricing guide, offering competitive pricing. Ask your 123 Dentist clinic about pricing and find a gift amount that suits any dental treatment.
Take Home Whitening Kit
Who’s It For? – The Aspiring Celebrity
Almost all 123 Dentist member clinics offer take home whitening kits, which offer trays and gel used at regular instructed periods. Take home kits are effective if used correctly and can brighten teeth significantly in just a week or two. They make a great stocking stuffer for anyone wanting to perfect their appearance, be it for a new job, a first date, graduation or even the perfect wedding. Whitening kits are around $200, making them an expensive stocking stuffer, but an effective one for anyone looking for a whiter smile.
Who’s It For? – The Coffee or Wine Lover
Another over the counter whitening option is white strips. Crest White Strips are popular, but there are other just as effective brands to choose from. Compared with in office whitening and take home whitening, White Strips are less effective, but they also cost far less and will still whiten your teeth several shades relatively quickly. Follow the instructions and you’ll get there, but keep in mind that white strips only brighten the front teeth, not the side ones and they don’t always last as long because they only remove a surface layer of staining, where laser whitening for instance, can do more, more quickly. Still, if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer under $70, White Strips are definitely a good option.
Who’s It For? – The Parents
Waterpiks are high pressure, precision instruments that spray water and wash away plaque in between teeth. For many, they serve as an alternative to traditional flossing, and they certainly help. But most dentists won’t recommend Waterpiks to replace traditional flossing because they’re just not as effective. They are, on the other hand, a great alternative if you’re not planning on flossing daily and they feel great! You can find a Waterpik for around $100 with a variety of models available, not to mention competing brands. Waterpiks do also make a great alternative to flossing for anyone with traditional wire braces.
Floss and Paste
Who’s It For? – The Child In Need
If you have a child or a teen who’s already got a good stocking coming their way, maybe you just need something small to offset all that candy and chocolate. A small tube of their favourite toothpaste and some dental floss or flossing picks (flossing aids) are great ways to encourage responsible oral hygiene without breaking the bank.
Who’s It For? – The Scaredy Cat
For everyone in your family who want dental care but is to afraid to ask, or more accurately go to the dentist, there is always sedation. Sedation isn’t covered by most dental plans, which makes it a luxury many patients opt to avoid for non-surgical procedures. A wonderful gift like sedation in the form of a gift certificate or coupon can take the stress out of the dental experience and create an ease of mind that will improve your loved one’s quality of life. Dental sedation can be oral sedation, IV sedation or gas, and many 123 Dentist clinics offer some form of sedation, find out for yourself here.
Who’s It For? – The Smoker
Our dentists can’t advocate eating candy or chocolate, but we know everyone does it, especially this time of year. But if you’re looking for a sweet item that isn’t bad for the teeth, consider gum that is approved by the Canadian Dental Association. This gum is artificially sweetened and chewing gum can actually help to reduce gum disease and bacteria build up, because it increases saliva flow and can help to neutralize and wash away acids that collect after eating. Gum is also a great distraction for other habits, like smoking or nail biting, which contribute to poor dental health.
Who’s It For? – The Pet Owner
The last item on our list isn’t even for people. Consider dental chews for dogs if you’re a pet owner or even chew toys that offer dental benefits. The pet owner in your family will love to receive this fun gift, and it will show that you care about them and their fury friend. Just remember, as good as those cookies look, their not for Santa.
Hanukkah is just as great as Christmas for small gifts that leave a lasting impression, and even if you’re not into the holidays, the next time you’re looking for a small gift for your loved ones, take a look below and find some inspiration for a perfect smile. Don’t forget to enter our weekly contest for a chance to win $100 from Visa, to spend however you like!