Once a year Santa comes to town and shares gifts with deserving souls. While most gift recipients may prefer the obese man to fill their stockings with games, toys and gadgets others struggling to afford dental care may appreciate gifts that target dental health.
A 2011 report conducted by the Institute of Medicine has indicated that millions of people are not getting the right type of dental care. The causes range from overall cost, a shortage of dentists in rural settings, lack of dental insurance or plain ignorance on the subject of dental hygiene. As a result more people are suffering from dental problems including tooth decay and gum disease and that is why Santa should start adding some dentistry themed gifts to the haul distributed during the holiday season.
There is no arguing dental care is expensive, but preventative dentistry has long thought to be a smarter budget friendly move than paying for restorative care to correct dental problems caused by dental neglect. Depending on the skills of a dentist, dentist clinic location and other factors, a standard dental cleaning and check-up can cost anywhere from $50 to $135. A dental care gift card can help offset those expenses and allow a patient to get the preventative dental care they seek.
Dentistry gift cards started to roll out in 2009 and at the time Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida was the largest provider of the gift cards. The company originally offered a variety of gift card values, that provided gift recipients with dental discounts on dental braces, dentures, crowns, fillings, oral surgery or cosmetic dentistry. The cards were not exclusive to the dental industry as gift recipients could also apply the discounts to prescription medicines and eye care (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34572680/ns/health-health_care/t/medical-gift-cards-pay-doctor-dentist-visits/#.TqBW8HFbz7g).
Consumers can now choose from a number of gift card options for dental care as more private businesses are getting into the game. Santa can also distribute gift certificates directly sold by dental spas and independent dental offices. If the fat man is a bit too busy, individuals can all 1-800-DENTIST to get the name of a dentist who sells this type of dental care gift.
One can imagine that during his off-season, Santa hangs out with the Tooth Fairy and during their time together, the topic will turn to the importance of oral hygiene in regards to brushing and flossing. While the Tooth Fairy surely struggles to hold her tongue when discussing the old man's weight issue, she will certainly share dental hygiene tips and may even recommend that Saint Nick places an electric toothbrush under his own tree.
Studies have indicated that electric toothbrushes can be incredibly effective in removing dental plaque when used correctly. Dental plaque is a community composed of oral bacteria and too much of the stuff can increase the odds of developing cavities and other dental issues. Dentists suggest brushing teeth for a solid two minutes to lower the levels of the compound, but the reality is most people do not dedicated enough time to brushing and only commit about 45 seconds to their efforts. Electric toothbrushes can make the job easier as they can prevent physical exhaustion (allowing for longer brushing sessions) and some devices have internal timers that can make people fully aware of their brush times.
Electric toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, brands, prices and styles and individuals looking for great options can start by looking for the American Dental Association seal of acceptance. Another source for helping pick out the best electric toothbrush is by reviewing the work conducted by independent consumer advocacy group, http://www.consumerreports.org. In 2010 the group rated 10 electric toothbrushes ranging from $15 to $130 dollars so the devices can either serve as the main gift or a great stocking stuffer (http://www.consumerreports.org/health/healthy-living/beauty-personal-care/toothbrushes/overview/toothbrushes-ov.htm).
Sweets are as intertwined with the holiday season as caroling, snow and decorations and some confectionery delights can stuff stockings and boost dental health! Some candy such as lollipops from Dr. John's Candies of Grand Rapids, Michigan (http://drjohns.com/), sugar-free chewing gum and dark chocolate are not only delicious, but all of them can provide boosts to dental health when consumed the right way.
For individuals charged with the task of acting like Santa and are interested in providing some tooth-savvy gifts to their friends other options include food baskets complete brimming holiday foods for dental health, green teas and coffee, stuffing stockings with dental floss and buying the ladies in your life hearty beers to lower their chances of developing osteoporosis. Speaking to a dentist directly may also fuel creative juices surrounding gifts and 1-800-DENTIST can connect you to the best dental care providers up for the task.