Got a new dental student? Here are 10 great gift ideas, everything from laptop bags to arty posters, medical thrillers, and dentist flicks.
01 of 10
A Laptop Bag & Gear
You may dream of getting your favorite dental student a retro, leather doctor's bag or some esoteric, but essential piece of equipment, but the truth is, equipment requirements vary from school to school. At some schools, certain items - including scrubs - are included in the tuition cost. At others, students have to buy their own. So try this idea instead: give your dentist-to-be a cool laptop bag (or a sports bag to tote spare scrubs, toiletries, and granola bars) and tuck in a gift card... for the dental school's bookstore.
02 of 10
Etsy.com, the eBay for arts and crafters, carries an ever-changing array of arty, one-of-a-kind gift items, including several with decided med student appeal. My current favorite item is a letterpress poster by Arkansas-based Roll and Tumble Press. This one (pictured, $25) depicts a human body with red and blue veins and arteries, and a "You are here" sign - the perfect mix of anatomy and heart. They're printed to order with a week turnaround time. Other wonderful ones include a WPA... poster that admonishes you to "Keep Your Teeth Clean."
03 of 10
Engraved Pens & Humble Markers
Dentistry is a writing-heavy pursuit. If you'd like to give your future dentist a special writing implement, Tiffany, and other high-end companies carry lovely, engrave-able silver pens for $185-$325. Of course, some kids prefer having the cash for, you know, tuition and food. A box of generic pens and highlighters may lack Tiffany's cachet, but it costs considerably less and if those pens get lost, it won't be such a big deal. Add in a day planner and a few crisp $20s.
04 of 10
Gift Card for a 24-Hour Diner
Gift certificates to restaurants and coffeehouses close to the dental school or clinic are thoughtful, sure-to-please gift options - especially if you find one that's open 24 hours. And you can't go wrong with a well-loaded Starbucks, VISA or American Express gift card.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Money may not be the most creative gift, but one size fits all and any hard-working, cash=poor student will think it's perfect. You can always write a check or hit the bank for crinkly green bills, but a little creativity will make the gift all the more memorable. Use an old-fashioned prescription bottle to hold a rolled up check, for example, or turn a dime-store piggy bank into a clever Dr. McSwine, DDS, with this paint-your-own piggy bank project.
06 of 10
Dentist Bears & Stuffed Germs
Dental school is a high-stress slog, with little time for making friends. So head for Build-A-Bear to get your new dental student a cuddly teddy bear dentist - then tuck a few twenties into the paw of Dr. Bear, DDS. And of course, nothing says "We're so proud of you!" better than, er, a giant plush Halitosis germ, an Epstein-Barr virus or an adorable Streptococcus. (You can compare prices on those here.)
P.S. That's a petri dish full of stuffed common cold microbes in the... photograph.
07 of 10
We all know how important it is to brush and floss our teeth. But even dentists must get sick of mint-flavored dental hygiene products, right? Voila: bacon-flavored floss. It comes in other flavors too, including coffee, waffle, and cupcake. And toothpaste as well. Every dentistry student needs to try it at least once, right?
08 of 10
"Ghost Town" & Other Dental Flicks
Dental school is not known for its leisure time, but when your favorite dental student has frothy entertainment on a DVD, it doesn't matter if he or she falls asleep midway through. That's what the "back" button is for. Unfortunately, there's no sudsy, "Grey's Anatomy"-type series about dental school, but Hollywood has brought some very amusing dentists to the silver screen recently, including Ricky Gervais in "Ghost Town" (compare prices), the 2008 comedy... about a surly dentist who sees ghosts everywhere, and Jennifer Aniston in the 2011 flick "Horrible Bosses" (compare prices). Aniston plays a sex-crazed dentist who doesn't let the word "no" interfere with her pursuit of hapless, dental hygienist Charlie Day.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
"Death of a Dentist" & Other Books
Clearly, dentists need to get some better publicists because when they take starring roles in novels, they always end up as either the much-despised murder victim or the much-despised suspect. Oh well, these tales are still fun, even if the DDS in question ends up as the centerpiece of a chalk outline: M.C. Beaton's "Death of a Dentist" (compare prices) and Agatha Christie's "One Two Buckle My Shoe" (compare prices). At least the dentist is the suspect in Joan Hess'... "Tickled to Death" (compare prices).
10 of 10
Pandemic & Other Board Games
Board games are the perfect pastime - and this intense, cooperative, adrenaline-fueled board game is tailor-made for science and medicine buffs. In Pandemic, players take on the role of CDC scientists racing to quell multiple plague breakouts, before a virulent plague wipes out the world. Prefer competitive colonizing instead? Settlers of Catan isn't just popular with average Joes, it's especially beloved by dental students - because it was created by Klaus Teuber, a German dental tech.