WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Toothbrushes and toothpaste can be fun and functional stocking stuffers this time of year, and the Wisconsin Dental Association wants to help consumers do their research when choosing safe and healthy dental products for their families or themselves.

“Trends like so-called ‘whitening’ toothpaste with charcoal, at-home aligners to straighten teeth, or U-shaped electric toothbrushes for children are just a few of examples of products and treatments that are not necessarily recommended by the dental community,” said WDA President Dr. Cliff Hartmann, a pediatric dentist from New Berlin. “Unless a specific product or service is recommended or performed by a dentist or dental hygienist, or has received the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, consumers should continue to research the product or ask their dentist or hygienist for guidance.”

Whether you’re shopping in-person or online, the WDA recommends these tips when looking to purchase dental gifts this holiday season:

  • Seek the ADA Seal of Acceptance – there are fun products just for kids! For 90 years, the ADA Seal has helped consumers choose the best dental products for their oral health. Among the hundreds of choices you have, products with the ADA Seal are the only ones that have also passed rigorous independent expert testing, ensuring the products’ promised benefits are safe, effective and scientifically proven. Many flavored toothpastes and fluoride mouth rinses, electric toothbrushes and sugar-free bubblegum all have the ADA Seal of Acceptance and make great stocking stuffers for kids! To learn more about the ADA Seal and to Search the Seal, visit mouthhealthy.org/Seal.

  • Use caution when purchasing direct-to-consumer oral health treatments. At-home products like mouth guards, snoring appliances, teeth-whitening trays and bleaching products, partial dentures, veneers and aligners remove the role of a dentist in diagnosing a patient’s oral health needs, developing a treatment plan to best meet those needs, and safely managing treatment throughout the course of care.


  • Visit your dentist to ask for recommendations. Before you purchase or use a product you’re unsure of, ask your dentist or hygienist about any potential risks and benefits. These dental professionals can provide guidance and suggest options or treatment plans for your unique case.

  • When unsure, stick to the basics. As new trends make their way through the marketplace and confuse buyers, remember the basics of oral health care. Toothpastes with fluoride, a simple toothbrush and floss go a long way. Stick to the general rule of brushing for two minutes twice per day, and cleaning between teeth at least once per day. You can’t go wrong with that!

More details and tips on this topic can be found at https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/. For more information about everything related to your oral health, visit the American Dental Association’s public awareness website at MouthHealthy.org. To find a dentist in your area, visit WDA.org/Find-A-Dentist.

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