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Give the gift of oral health this holiday season

Don’t let oral health go out the window when the holidays come around. Eating foods that are high in sugar can result in tooth decay and cavities without proper oral care. Here are some great gift ideas for tools to care for teeth that will keep your friends and family members smiling all winter long.

An electric 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 can be fairly inexpensive. They're great gifts for the tech lovers in your life!

Besides brush type, you also have a choice of bristle type. Hard bristle toothbrushes were once recommended but are too abrasive to the teeth and gums. Instead, give out toothbrushes with soft rounded nylon bristles.

Dental floss

Dental floss's small size makes it a great stocking stuffer. While a toothbrush is effective in cleaning tooth surfaces, the bristles cannot adequately clean between the teeth. Dental floss will help remove food from 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

Acidic foods and drinks can have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks helps to reduce the acid level in the mouth and can stimulate the flow of saliva, which cleanses the mouth, especially at times when brushing is impractical. Instead of gum with added sugar, give out brands that include xylitol, an artificial sweetener shown to reduce cavities.

Last updated February 11, 2022

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