‘Smile healthy’ holiday gift ideas for all ages

December 17, 2013

Here are some ideas for gifts and stocking stuffers that are not only fun, but will help protect the smile of a friend or family member:

‘Smile healthy’ stocking stuffers

  • Sugar-free gum or mints
  • Single-use toothbrushes, preloaded with toothpaste (Ex: Colgate Wisps)
  • Travel size dental floss, mouth rinses, toothpastes, toothbrush and toothbrush holder (can be packaged nicely in a travel bag too!
  • New toothbrushes (cartoon characters and bright colors are popular for children
  • New toothpaste and/or mouth rinses in fun flavors
  • Hourglass timer in fun colors for kids to time brushing
  • Tooth fairy pillow/box
  • Sports mouth guard (in team colors)
  • Zoom! Whitening pens
  • Electric toothbrush
  • A gift certificate for professional Zoom! teeth whitening

Another idea is to offer to pay for (or a portion of) a dental procedure your loved one has been putting off due to lack of funds or dental insurance.


Q&A: How do I know if a product is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)?

May 13, 2013

Not all oral health products are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Be sure to look products with “ADA Accepted” on the packaging. ADA has approved products in several categories from toothbrushes and toothpastes, to tooth whitening bleaches and sugar free chewing gum. For a complete list of ADA accepted oral hygiene products visit, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products. The ADA also provides names of water filters that will not filter out fluoride from the water supply.

Whoops! I’m caught without a toothbrush

August 9, 2012

If a toothbrush isn’t available, don’t rely on sugary mints or an alcohol laden mouth rinse to freshen your breath. Use a product that is sugarless and alcohol free. Some tips for keeping your breath fresh include: 

  • Rinse your mouth out with water after eating
  • Chew a piece of sugarless gum
  • Snack on celery, carrots or apples (they will clear away loose food while chewing)
  • Eat a balanced diet (a vitamin deficiency will contribute to bad breath)

What is the “correct” way to brush my teeth?

April 26, 2012
  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in a circular motion.
  2. Since your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time, change its position to properly clean each tooth.
  3. Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all your teeth.
  4. Use the tip of your brush to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
  5. Be sure not to brush your teeth too hard or use a hard bristled toothbrush, as this can cause your gums to recede and also wears down the tooth structure. These conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  6. Last but not least, remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.


Source: Michigan Dental Association

Which is better: a manual toothbrush or an electric one?

January 20, 2012

Studies have shown both manual and electric toothbrushes to be equally effective (when used correctly) in removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup. My advice is to use whichever toothbrush you find most comfortable and easy to use.

To get proper brushing instructions for a manual toothbrush visit www.adha.org/oralhealth/brushing.htm. See the packaging for your electric toothbrush for usage instructions.