My Stomach Hurts From Laughing So Hard!

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 63

Target Gift CardsDear readers, I have such a funny story to tell you today. I hope you get as good a laugh out of it as my husband and I did.

Laughter is, after all, one of the healthiest things anyone can do, so I’m sharing this story with all of you in the hope that it adds a boost of wellness to your day!

So here’s what happened ….

This morning, as I was getting ready to leave my dentist’s office after a 9am appointment, the receptionist hands me an envelope with my name on it.  She told me the day before over the phone that it was a gift card which was the office’s way of saying “thank you” for some referrals I’ve sent their way in recent months.

Very nice.  A classy touch, I thought to myself.

So, I get in my car and drive home.  I didn’t open the envelope because it just didn’t cross my mind to do so at that moment.

Boy, am I glad I waited!

After I arrive home, I go into the house and start putting my keys, etc on the kitchen table and notice the envelope again.

I thought it would be nice to share this with my husband, so I walk into his office and tell him about the gift card and begin to open the envelope so we can be surprised and delighted together.

I’m thinking it must be movie tickets or a certificate to a local restaurant or something like that which my husband and I can share on an evening out.

You can imagine my shock and surprise when I pull out the gift card and it is none other than a gift card to (drum roll please) …


I am not making this up.

For the first few seconds, my husband and I were too stunned to say anything.  We just stared at each other with our jaws agape.

And then, we started to laugh, and laugh, and LAUGH!

Oh my, that was so funny.  A dentist giving a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts!  The irony of it is almost too much to comprehend!

After we finally stopped laughing many, many minutes later, I finally gasped enough air to ask my husband, “What am I going to do with this?  I don’t eat donuts and I don’t drink coffee?”

Always my knight in shining armor, hubby chimed in that Dunkin’ Donuts now shares space with Baskin Robbins, so he can take the kids out for ice cream with it.

Wonderful, I thought.  Ice cream for the kids.  What a way to promote those cavities (and some repeat business)!



Picture Credit

Comments (63)

  • maria torres


    May 11th, 2011 10:36 pm Reply
  • maria torres

    ur wack dnt post any more stories

    May 11th, 2011 10:35 pm Reply
  • Diann

    When I was a kid, there was always a bowl of candy (usually lollipops) at the dentist’s office we children could take a piece or two from, for later.

    I guess my old dentist was simply trying to insure repeat business.

    April 29th, 2011 7:19 pm Reply
  • Nickole

    I always wondered about sealants even though we have opted out of them for our children and go to a dentist who does not do them on a regular basis, or flouride, and also lets us opt out of x-rays. So thanks for your input on the sealants, Sarah!

    April 24th, 2011 10:02 pm Reply
  • Cindy Hailey

    Wow! NEVER had a dentist give me anything except a plastic ring when I was a kid…I am a bit astonished at your story AND all the other similar ones here! 😀

    April 22nd, 2011 5:11 pm Reply
  • barb

    sounds like they were just being nice. not everyone is as educated regarding nutrition. hopefully no one who works there reads your blog as you come off super elitist with this post.

    April 22nd, 2011 4:26 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      If my post comes of as elitist, so be it. Dentists who give out gift cards to Dunkin Donuts need to be publicly shamed for such irresponsible behavior. There’s a difference between “being nice” and encouraging destructive behavior which is exactly what this dentist is doing, nice as they are. Would you say the same thing if a doctor gave out a carton of cigarettes as a thank you to a patient for referral business?

      By the way, in addition to being amused, I was also a bit insulted by the gift card as the dental office knows well that I am into health and nutrition.

      April 23rd, 2011 10:39 am Reply
  • Mikki

    My dentist must be one of the tightest with his money in the nation from what I’ve read above. We’ve been going to him for over 30 years and he’s great, but only gave the kids a couple of stickers after their visits and my husband and me zero from all the referrals over the years. One day he kept me waiting for ONE hour and I was so livid he kiddingly asked me if I’d like a sticker. I blurted out in anger, “How about a discount!” (we have no dental insurance) Ya know what? He did; $20.00 off my cleaning! Now that’s a treat I can live with. So, BTW….what is in Baskin Robbins ice cream?

    April 22nd, 2011 4:08 pm Reply
  • Amy J.

    What’s ironic is that there’s a Dunkin Donuts ad (part of Google ads) right under your video as I read your post! :)

    April 22nd, 2011 1:23 pm Reply
  • I M Concerned

    I own a business that sells to dentists, so I am in their offices all the time. One of my customers keeps Hershey’s miniatures at the reception desk all the time. I asked once if they were trying to drum up business, and to my surprise they answered yes! At least they were honest about it! I laughed about that for days.

    April 22nd, 2011 12:26 pm Reply
  • Sally

    they don’t know you very well do they?

    April 22nd, 2011 12:17 pm Reply
  • Amy

    The last conventional dentist I went to served fresh baked cookies, coffee, juice, and water. If you walked in during the baking time, it was very tempting to grab a cookie, or two! And yes, I thought the same thing you did, Sarah, about cavities & repeat business! (but I still kept going there)

    April 22nd, 2011 11:59 am Reply
  • Lori

    Honestly, I think you should call or write to the dentist and thank him for the gift but tell him that you find it ironic that he’s giving you a gift that’s not healthy for your teeth. Then maybe you should send him a copy of Price’s book.

    This is a funny story, and we love the occasional sweet too–donuts are our favorite– but I personally think we need to educate our health care providers on what is appropriate! Dentists shouldn’t be giving out anything with sugar in it. *Rolling my eyes and shaking my head.*

    April 22nd, 2011 11:41 am Reply
  • Katie

    That is so frustrating. Can you make a comment to them so that if they respect how you live a healthy lifestyle maybe in time they will start to think more in the lines that that wasnt a smart idea. may I ask if you or your kids have a lot or any cavities? Seems like you would want to see a holistic dentist. your comment that they do great work must mean they fill cavities?? I truly believe grains are the major cause of tooth decay. after I switched to raw pastured whole milk, cream , butter, lard olive oil and dont eat cane sugar. no cavities and no tooth pain or sensitivivity.

    April 22nd, 2011 11:27 am Reply
  • Kati

    My favorite dentist when I was a kid ALWAYS gave me a gift certificate to Dolly Madison Ice Cream Shoppe after my appointments. Which I had a lot of, because I always had cavities. He said the ice cream would make it feel better and also that the calcium was good for my teeth. I didn’t care either way, it was yummy :)

    April 22nd, 2011 11:04 am Reply
  • Danielle

    This is a ho-hum kinda day – thanks for the laugh!

    April 22nd, 2011 11:04 am Reply
  • Primal Dave


    I’ll have to pass this idea on to my dentist… he only gives out coupons for 5lb bags of sugar. 😀

    April 22nd, 2011 11:03 am Reply
  • Dorsey Clark

    It truly is an ignorant society out there. I was just as stunned that they want to insist you sit down and have a donut after giving blood. It truly reinforces the fact that we have to take charge of our health…. ourselves…. as it appears that all areas of the medical profession are being taught from the same bad manual.

    April 22nd, 2011 9:30 am Reply
  • Kelli

    You know whats just as hilarious? McD’s in a hospital!
    Could it be anymore obvious? Then they try to redeem themselves by helping kids with cancer! I’m not against helping the kids, but I find it terribly ironic for McD’s to do so.

    April 21st, 2011 9:38 pm Reply
    • Kati

      We have a local YMCA with a McDonald’s inside of it!

      April 22nd, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • Gabriella Iacobone via Facebook

    Amanda-she knows whats a good for business. lol

    April 21st, 2011 6:40 pm Reply
  • Rita

    I’m guessing that a member of the office staff was asked to pick something up, or it is a pass-on gift. I’m not assuming the dentist did this purposefully.

    April 21st, 2011 6:04 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, the receptionist told me on the phone that the dentist had instructed her to pick up gift cards for clients that had provided referral business.

      April 21st, 2011 6:41 pm Reply
      • Amy

        Just wondering if they read your blog (or know you write one)…really is funny!

        April 22nd, 2011 12:05 pm Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Oh, I doubt it, but I do hope that someone sends them a link! :)

          April 22nd, 2011 12:43 pm Reply
  • KerryAnn

    LOL! I recently won some Baskins Robbins gift certificates. We’re giving them to a local school to give away as a prize, we’re sure not going to use them!

    April 21st, 2011 3:50 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yeah, I’m not crazy about Baskin Robbins either. But, we do get ice cream out occasionally as keeping your kids away from everything is a surefire way to get rebellion against all things healthy. Balancing and showing them choices is the hardest part of parenting and teaching wise food habits, no doubt.

      April 21st, 2011 4:07 pm Reply
      • Linda E.

        I totally agree!

        April 22nd, 2011 11:24 am Reply
  • Rose

    That is funny, Sarah. :) Along the same lines I took my kids to a local dentist for the first time the other day. To my shock and surprise they invited the kids (and not me) to “their own private area” in the back, where I was not allowed, to play video games, watch television and…..EAT ICE CREAM before their appointment!!!! They also do NOT do dental work without sedation and want me to give DEMEROL before appointments. Needless to say we won’t be going back there! I was working on a blog about this myself….funny coinsidence

    April 21st, 2011 3:48 pm Reply
    • Vesna

      Rose, your story is more creepy and scary than funny. A room where parents aren’t allowed to go? Having the parents drug the kid beforehand? What the heck is going on over there!?Those people need some kind of formal complaint, or serious investigation or something.

      April 21st, 2011 10:07 pm Reply
      • Mischele

        I agree with Vesna. That is scary NOT funny. The dentist my Mom took me to as a young child did the same thing and abused his young female patients. I bit him and Mom took me to another dentist. DON’T take your children back to a dentist if they do not allow you to have control over what your children are exposed to!

        April 22nd, 2011 10:36 am Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Gosh I love Dunkin’ Donuts…lol. But I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve gone. A very very long time. (Which reminds me…when I get more lard, after we get our pig this spring…must make homemade awesome donuts!!) It DOES seem like the dentists are trying to drum up repeat business. And my biggest question honestly would be, how are we to explain to our children (assuming, anyway, that you eat SAD and don’t continuously explain to your children how wrong most people are, LOL) why the dentist is teaching that sugar is bad and we need to care for our teeth…but handing out candy or gift cards for junk?? How do we teach them about hypocrisy? Sigh. I haven’t even taken my kids yet (my daughter’s just 3), but I’m not completely sure I will. Their teeth are very white, straight, and even, well-spaced too, so I might just…skip it for now, at least as long as they just have baby teeth….

    April 21st, 2011 3:21 pm Reply
  • Michelle at Openeyehealth

    That is too funny! I really think that sometimes people just don’t realize what they’re promoting! At one company I worked for, to raise money for a heart association, the first fundraiser they did was sell donuts. I was amazed to say the least.

    April 21st, 2011 2:46 pm Reply
  • Jo at Jo’s Health Corner

    Wow! They couldn’t be more obvious that they want repeat customers:-)

    You are fortunate though that they are letting you skip the flouride and x-rays. We went to a great holistic dentist in California but he was more expensive than a regular dentist.

    April 21st, 2011 2:18 pm Reply
  • Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

    Another idea if you’d like to avoid giving your kids the ice cream… the gift certification to someone else — or sell it on Ebay. :)

    April 21st, 2011 1:09 pm Reply
  • Raine

    There are so many mixed messages from mainstream health care providers. I have seen stuff like this before, and it is laughable, although sad. Our chiropractor that my husband and son sees gives us thank you gifts from time-to-time and they are always movie tickets, which I appreciate. But it’s very disconcerting to see health care providers not only avoiding the good advice about nutrition and health and encouraging activities like vaccines, but providing thank-yous to patients that require buying something to eat
    that clearly isn’t good for us at all.

    April 21st, 2011 12:40 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      My chiropractor gives out lollipops. But at least they’re organic. *rolls eyes*

      April 21st, 2011 1:44 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Walling

    Wow. How sad is that? I’m speechless.

    April 21st, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
  • Amanda Kranz via Facebook

    Our EX-pediatrician used to hand out Free Frosty coupons for Wendy’s. What a joke.

    April 21st, 2011 12:37 pm Reply
  • Tina Gorczyca Bradley via Facebook

    Job security at its best!

    April 21st, 2011 12:08 pm Reply
  • Em Newton via Facebook

    I agree Sherri, I think they truly try to sabotage people’s health! What a freaking shame!!!

    April 21st, 2011 12:05 pm Reply
  • Em

    Hmm now you REALLLLLY wonder if they are trying to sabotage your health. Really? This is absurd, that’s like your life insurance company giving you sky diving lessons! OYE!

    O_o *blink blink*

    Really though, you should call them or write them and let them know how ridiculous this is although you appreciate the “gesture”. Someone needs some “schooling”.

    April 21st, 2011 12:04 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I’m thinking it is a hopeless case. I’ve mentioned Rami Nagel’s book to them before, and gotten blank stares. I am just thankful they allow opting out of xrays and flouride and are tolerant of my views. If they want to eat Dunkin’ Donuts, have at it.

      April 21st, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
      • Marcee

        I’ve mentioned that book to my dentist also, and about remineralizing our teeth with diet and cod liver oil. He gave me a weird look and sounded surprised. They also respect my flouride issue and less frequent x-rays. Sarah, how to you feel about sealants (sp?) for kids?

        April 21st, 2011 1:10 pm Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Sealants are not a good idea .. they are full of estrogen mimicking chemicals and teeth can still decay beneath them and then when the sealants are removed, the teeth crumble. I think they should be avoided at all costs.

          April 21st, 2011 3:28 pm Reply
          • Linda E.

            I finally got it across clearly to my dentist that we will NOT be doing sealants. They asked me why and I told that that I don’t want that stuff put in my children’s bodies. They didn’t say another word.

            April 22nd, 2011 11:20 am
          • Lori

            I had lots of sealants as a kid! Hmmm….. Too bad now, I guess. I’ve also had 5 root canals. Now, of course, I have found a dentist who knows alternative ways to deal with root canals, but it’s too late for the ones I’ve had. I just try and be as healthy as possible because pulling teeth also comes with problems.

            April 22nd, 2011 11:36 am
          • Sara Gordon

            So what do you do if your kids have a cavity if you don’t recommend sealants?

            November 4th, 2012 1:04 pm
          • Susanna McMillan


            I’m a 22 year old who has been getting sealant put in my molars for the last 8 years or so. I sought out a different dentist when I disagreed with his suggestion of removing my wisdom teeth. My new dentist has a very holistic practice. Not only did he inform me that I did NOT need to have my wisdom teeth, but he also told me exactly what Sarah said above….that during all those years of having sealant, my teeth had decayed beneath them. Because my sealants had fallen out (as they usually do) he could see that I had FIVE cavities!!! I have to get fillings for those cavities, but for the molars that have not decayed that much, he suggests ozone treatment as opposed to sealant to reverse the tooth decay. I would suggest you do some research to see if there are any holistic dentists in your area that offer this form of treatment.

            January 16th, 2013 9:05 pm
  • Carole Gurges Hildebrandt via Facebook


    April 21st, 2011 11:58 am Reply
  • sarah

    Sometimes you just gotta wonder…!!
    A lot of people hate conspiracy theories, but some things are just too coincidental. LOL :)

    April 21st, 2011 11:57 am Reply
  • Kim (Cook It Allergy Free)

    THat is hysterical! My first thought, before you said it, was that they were just ensuring some repeat visits! LOL Thanks for sharing that laugh this morning!!!

    April 21st, 2011 11:57 am Reply
  • Sherri DuPriest Hooks via Facebook

    It think it makes perfect sense… how else are they going to make all that money on crowns and whatnot unless they get you to eat the nastiest sugar filled things possible? They KNOW what they are doing, they aren’t stupid.

    April 21st, 2011 11:56 am Reply
  • Joanna Borseth-Ortega via Facebook

    Just wait til the MDs are handing out free packs of smokes!

    April 21st, 2011 11:54 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    That is so messed up!

    April 21st, 2011 11:51 am Reply
  • Rosana

    When I was a kid, my dentist gave out sugar free gum, and later swithced to $1 store toys. My kids have been to one that gave out certificates to McD’s for a happy meal. It’s amazing what they do to keep the business afloat.

    April 21st, 2011 11:47 am Reply
    • D.

      Oh yum, sugar free gum. “You’ll die from the aspartame kids, but chew that gum!” My dentist, even as a child in the late 50’s, gave out sugar laden toothpaste and a brush.

      I don’t know why dentists would have to drum up business – people are their own worst enemies in this scenario. Besides dentists live in expensive homes and work tues – thurs. Must be a tough life.

      I went to an oral surgeon last year to get ONE tooth pulled, because my regular dentist said he couldn’t do it because the nerves of that tooth were wrapped around the nerves of the tooth next to it and he was afraid he’d damage the other, good tooth. Didn’t matter, the oral surgeon botched it and now my “good” tooth is rotting anyhow because he damaged the entire tooth. For this I paid him $498. Plus I had to go in on a Wednesday and then I wasn’t supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds for the next few days, so that involved closing my business for three days. All in all, the damn tooth cost me over $750.

      The least these airheads could do is hand out a decent gift — or how about just nothing at all? A pen and notepad would be better than a card to dunkin’ donuts. Sheesh.

      April 22nd, 2011 11:17 am Reply
  • William-Dawn Porter Clayton via Facebook

    Crazy funny!!! My dentist does this fund raiser every Oct. for the troops. He has everyone bring in bags of candy and they send it overseas! I think that is really strange!!!!!

    April 21st, 2011 11:46 am Reply
  • Terry

    Just thought I would share that my dentist hands out cookies and lattes for his patients, so your dentist is just doing the same. Maybe they learn this at conventions on how to drum up more business.

    April 21st, 2011 11:44 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    They are great dentists .. not very savvy about nutrition, obviously, but they do great work and give us a choice to skip xrays, flouride etc which is much more than most dentists these days!

    April 21st, 2011 11:42 am Reply
    • Linda

      They don’t hassle you about the x-rays? Do you ever get them? I’ve been wondering about that.

      April 22nd, 2011 11:51 am Reply
  • katie

    Oh my goodness. Guess they aren’t a WAPF friendly dentist, LOL!

    April 21st, 2011 11:39 am Reply
  • Kelli

    Awesome! My kids’ dentist gave them free certificates to get frosty’s at Wendy’s! Talk about mixed messages!

    April 21st, 2011 11:39 am Reply

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