The 7 weirdest gifts every dental professional NEEDS

November 7, 2017

A guide to some of the best (and weirdest) dental themed gifts out there.

Chances are, you’ll need to get a gift for a dental professional in your life soon. Whether it’s a birthday, a last-minute holiday gift, or you’re just trying to impress a boss, there’s always a reason to be on the lookout for gifts.

Fear not, because we’ve got your back. This is a list of some of the best gifts out there, gifts that are sure to make an impression! Some of them might seem weird, but we’ll help explain why it just might be the most useful gift you’ve ever given.

Choose wisely from the following gifts. You just might be able to convince your co-worker that you didn’t forget about their birthday or your boss to finally give you that raise you’ve been asking for.

And remember: The best gifts are ultimately the ones that benefit you. 

Continue to the next page to see the gifts.


What it is:

Jewelry comes in all shapes in sizes-many of them in tooth sizes. Shown here is a personalized silver keychain, but you might also consider these tooth cufflinks to keep you looking sharp.

Why a dental professional wants it:

Picture this: You’re out at dinner with a group of non-dentists. You don’t know any of them very well, but you’re getting along. The food is great, the wine is flowing, and the conversation is easy. Everything’s going well. The person next to you is a little tipsy, and starts talking louder, opening their mouth wider and wider. You look over and notice, there in the back-is all that plaque really back there? And is that a small caries starting to form? It’s a little hard to tell, so you look away. But the person keeps talking and you keep looking, and you slowly grow more and more convinced that this person needs some serious dental care, and soon.

But you can’t say anything. You just met this person! They would take offense if you leaned over and whispered, “hey you should plan a visit to the dentist soon.” No one there knows you work in a dentist’s office, so you’ll look like a jerk.

Cue the jewelry. Now instead of having to awkwardly explain that you are indeed a dentist while fumbling around for your business card that you forgot to bring, people will start asking you about your interesting taste in jewelry. No longer will you be ostracized for making comments during dinner-you’ll be providing sage advice on the fly and people will be thanking you for it!

By giving your friends and family a simple gift, you have granted them the gift of easier dinner parties.

Image source: Personalized Keychain


What it is:

Shoes for the dental professional. From these casual sneakers and slip-ons, to a pair of terrifying Oxfords or even socks (but seriously, don’t be the person who gives socks), it’s time to wear your profession on your feet.

Why a dental professional wants it:

This is perhaps the most personal gift you can give someone who works in dentistry. Let’s face it, a patient spends more time looking at your face (or awkwardly avoiding eye contact and staring at the ceiling) than anywhere else, and you spend a lot of your day staring at the ground. They won’t appreciate it, but you will. So if you know someone looking to spruce up their routine, consider starting with something they’ll spend a lot of looking at.

Image source: Dentist patter sneakers, Dentist diagram casual shoes



What it is:

A trip to go see artwork. Whether looking at The Tooth-Puller by Gerard Dou (Left) or The Quack Doctor by Jan Havicksz (Right), a visit to an art museum would be a welcome gift for any dental professional.

Why a dental professional wants it:

For one, it’s a free trip-who wouldn’t be happy about it? This gift shows that you’re cultured, and you know they’re cultured, and will score you points for the rest of your life.

But that’s not the only reason. Take the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GDSM). In 2014, they became the first dental school to require an art appreciation experience as a requirement for all first-year DMD students. Every incoming student is required to visit a local art museum, and after each visit, students discuss the art with their peers. Because art doesn’t have one specific meaning, it helps the students present their ideas and listen to their colleagues. According to the University, this helps the students overcome a fear of being wrong, and instead to look at every possible problem. Most importantly, perhaps, students felt that the exercise helped them to show more empathy toward patients and better explain a diagnosis and treatment options.

And if greater empathy isn’t a good enough reason to give a pass to a local art museum or a trip to Europe, consider the possibility of getting rid of an annoying boss or coworker. If you give a long enough trip to someone, you can get them out of your hair for two weeks and gain considerable brownie points in the process.

Image source: The Tooth-Puller, The Quack Doctor



What it is:

This mug, or similarly snarky t-shirt, can be a great themed gift if you’re looking for something less expensive than a trip to Europe.

Why a dental professional wants it:

Everyone who’s ever looked at someone’s mouth for a living has thought, “I wish I could tell you what I really think right now.” Gifts like these are a perfect passive-aggressive way to help convince your patients that yes, flossing actually does help, and yes, you know what you’re talking about.

And even if passive-aggressive seems a little too aggressive, t-shirts can always be hidden and mugs can be covered with a hand. The patient won’t know, but YOU know, and that’s all that matters.

If you’ve ever heard a coworker sigh when that person walks through the door, consider giving them the gift of an eye-roll in physical form.

Image source: Dentist mug



What it is:

Something for the wall, whether it’s this vintage looking art or a reminder to brush and floss, or anything else, can be an affordable gift for anyone.

Why a dental professional wants it:

Everyone should update their walls every so often. As discussed earlier, art can be an important part of helping you become a more empathetic care giver. Art can make patients and employees alike happier, or just brighten up someone’s home.

But perhaps the best reason to give art is to gently remind someone that the office has not been updated since 1978. Consider giving this way: “Hey I got you this art. It probably would look better on our walls if they weren’t still covered in vinyl wood paneling. If only there was some way to get rid of that.”

The best gifts are the ones that ultimately end up benefitting you.

Image source: Dentist patient prints, Brush Floss Smile wall decal



What it is:

These vintage dental tools can be placed in an office or in the home. You can buy a whole bag full of instruments or just a single one. 

Why a dental professional wants it:

Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of how far we’ve come. Even seemingly simple tools like scalers and mirrors have seen remarkable enhancements in the last several decades. Old tools can be a reminder that dentistry used to be, well, terrifying. A bag full of clanging metal likely did little to calm a person’s fears. Now, tools are engineered to fit perfectly in hand and provide better results. Back then, tools were designed for brute force. Look at the hammer, for instance.

And while this makes nice decoration, you’ve surely realized by now that there can always be another reason to give a gift. If the tools in your dental practice still look like this, maybe it’s time to start pushing for an upgrade. And there’s no better way to embarrass someone into upgrading the office than to give them a tool from 1894 that looks exactly like what you’re using in 2017.

Image source: Vintage dentist bag with tools



What it is:

Giant tooth-shaped objects come in many forms, like this stool. This can be used in the home or as a decoration in an office. But please, for your back’s sake, don’t use this during any sort of examination or procedure-your posture is important!

Why a dental professional wants it:

Let’s face it. For all of the work you put into teeth, sometimes you get sick of them. All of the cleaning, the coddling, the brushing, the flossing you do can sometimes make you wonder who really runs the show. Here’s your chance to show a tooth that you own it.

Buy a giant tooth and gift it as a footstool. Buy a giant tooth corkboard for the office, and take satisfaction that at least there’s one tooth in the world with holes in it that you don’t have to worry about. Give a tooth-shaped chew toy to your friend’s massive dog that’s destroyed 10 toys in the last two days.

Or maybe you just know someone who’s generally really interested in teeth. There’s a wide world of gifts out there, and this might be just the place to start!

Image source: Tooth stool