My Stomach Hurts From Laughing So Hard!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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?

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.*

  9. Sarah,
    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.

  10. 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 :)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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

    • 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.

      • 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!

  16. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama April 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    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….

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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”.

    • 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.

      • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • Sara,

            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.

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

  22. 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.

    • 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.

  23. 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.


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