These days, it's no secret that altruism can have some seriously nonaltruistic benefits. Giving back impresses customers and makes them want to work with you more. Donation also helps employees feel as though they're a part of something meaningful, and thus helps keep them around for the long haul. And let's not forget that tax deduction.

All of these add up to better business. In fact, by some estimates, giving regularly can even double your bottom line.

Of course, most people also like the idea of donating to charity for its own sake: helping others in need, regardless of the benefits that it might bring to your business.

Many dental charities are geared toward children, but you may also choose to focus on families or the handicapped — both of which you'll find listed below. Choosing the right cause for you is a matter of values and taste, so peruse the following choices and see if one works for you.

1. The Children's Dental Center of Greater Los Angeles

The Children's Dental Center is dedicated to serving the children of Los Angeles, helping to prevent disease and promote greater dental health among children. The charity helps both underserved children and their caregivers parents and grandparents, most often with education and preventative care.

2. Oral Health America

With widespread connections across America to schools, top health organizations and legislators, Oral Health America seeks to change dental health one person at a time. While they maintain a focus on children, they also help older adults with comprehensive dental education and care.

3. National Children's Oral Health Foundation

Billing itself as "America's Tooth Fairy," the National Children's Oral Health Foundation works with Boy and Girl Scouts, providing a huge list of resources and donation opportunities for at-risk children. If you join their kids club, you can get free activities such as brushing and flossing charts, songs, recipes and more.

4. Dental Lifeline Network

Another underserved community consists of the handicapped, elderly and "medically fragile" all people who have trouble getting regular dental care. If you care about this vulnerable audience, the Dental Lifeline Network (formerly the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped) can be your go-to.

5. Christina's Smile

Providing dental care through a traveling 53-foot trailer, Christina's Smile cooperates with the PGA Tour and Champions Tour to bring dental care to underserved communities through the United States.

6. Global Dental Relief

America isn't the only country with underserved children. Global Dental Relief takes the mission overseas, rounding up volunteer dentists, hygienists and assistants to travel to schools and villages in developing countries around the world.

Whatever your reasons are for donating to charity for marketing or to help others (or more likely both) doing so regularly is always a good idea. If you want to combine the two, you can try advertising a special in which clients can get a small discount for coming in during a certain period, and you'll donate the amount they save to charity.

This is just one example of how you can create goodwill and bring in more business, of course. The more you turn your attention to charitable giving, the more creative ways you'll come up with. Get going, and enjoy the benefits for years to come.