Your bathroom is the latest room in your home to become a high design/high quality product destination—more specifically your dental products. From minimalist charcoal toothbrushes to neem-flavored toothpaste to coconut microfiber floss, dental has gone chic.
Here’s all the products you need to know about the best (and prettiest) new products, along with some sage advice from the experts about what you should be paying attention to.
Our Chic New Favorites
No gimmicks here, just an easy-to-use electric toothbrush that gives you 30 second pulses and shuts off after 2 minutes, assuring you brush as long as you’re supposed to, every time. They also mail you a new brush head and battery every three months, so you’ve got no excuses.
Tropical fragrances and turquoise blue color will make this coconut oil-infused dental floss so much more pleasant.
In 100 percent recyclable tubes, Davids has no sulfates, no fluoride, no gunk.
Fluoride-free formulations in bold flavors: Mint-Coriander-Cucumber, Montauban Apple and Orange-Ginger-Clove.
Made with certified organic ingredients, no gunk and in six unusual flavors like pineapple, rose and licorice.
Essential oils anise, spearmint and clove add a refreshing twist, and this brand new toothpaste is fluoride free too.
Plotnick tells us there are three main reasons of using toothpaste:
- Clean teeth.
- Not make your mouth smell terrible.
- Reduce cavities or plaque buildup. “And to do this they add slight abrasivities to toothpaste. Either baking soda, or different variations of silica, or microbeads (which they’ve been taking out now). The other thing is fluoride. It’s been added to toothpaste to prevent cavities. It helps to make your teeth more resistant to acid and erosion, it makes them stronger. It even changes the crystalline structure of your enamel to make it more resistant. They’ve added other things to toothpaste too. SLS to make it more foamy. Triclosan as an antimicrobial agent. Essential oils for taste. Really you just need fluoride to tell you the truth. And some sort of flavoring agent. And baking soda. The rest is kind of fluff in my opinion.”
Dr. Steven Gundry, best-selling author and health expert, agreed to be on guard for artificial ingredients. “Stay away from toothpastes with artificial sweeteners like saccharin (almost all commercial toothpastes use this) and any toothpaste with triclosan, an antibacterial that is an endocrine disruptor. I list several safe toothpastes in my book, but my current favorite that I use is Dirt Toothpaste.”
Be Aware of the Ingredients
“It’s not needed, it’s just the stuff they add to soaps to make it bubble,” says Plotnick. “It just makes you feel good and think ‘Oh, it’s bubbling, it’s working.’ In fact, it’s been shown to increase canker sores.”
Plotnick says that fluoride is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to dental health. “There are so many people in this world that don’t have access to dentists, so having fluoridated water and toothpaste gives them all these extra levels of protection. Fluoride is also a natural product of our environment. The problem is when it’s consumed in higher quantities.”
Which is why many organic and natural toothpastes avoid it. Davids says it is “classified as a hazardous material, and we believe this material poses unnecessary risk to your body.”
However, Plotnick notes that most people don’t brush properly, so the act of brushing their teeth alone won’t help prevent cavities. “By adding fluoride to toothpaste, we’re helping them.”
“If you’re really against using a toothpaste with fluoride—it’s something you feel very strongly about—make sure that the cons outweigh the pros,” says Plotnick. “Make sure you’re not somebody that has a high cavity rate because you could be somebody that actually is putting yourself in harms way by not adding it into your regimen. Brushing twice a day with fluoride can reduce your cavities by 25 percent.”
Xylitol “is a really important additive to toothpaste, gum, etc.,” says Plotnick. She explains that the bacteria streptococcus mutans is the only bacteria that causes cavities but xylitol a sweetener that bacteria cannot eat to create the acid which causes cavities. (Ed note: Spry gum with xylitol is a favorite!)
One of cheapest and most organic ways to brush your teeth with though? “Baking soda,” says Plotnick. “It doesn’t have any additives and has one of the lowest levels of abrasivity. You just won’t get the xylitol or fluoride or essential oils.”
There’s no one-size fits all
Plotnick stresses the importance of individuality when it comes to dental care. “I can’t recommend one product for everybody,” she says. “You just want to weigh your options and benefits. Say to yourself, ‘Xylitol is important, and I’m a high cavity person, so let me use fluoride, too because that’s going to help me.’”
Brushing twice a day for two to three minutes each time is the most important thing you can do for your teeth, but that’s not the norm for everyone. “When it comes down to a public health concern, probably half of the population brushes twice a day,” says Plotnick, which is why she is so excited about the emergence of “sexy toothbrushes.”
“Yes! Let’s get people interested in their teeth,” she says. “If we can get people a little more interested in their dental health, then we are now improving dental hygiene, and we’re reducing cavities. Anyone who brushes with whatever toothbrush they want, but they brush for two minutes and properly? They are all going to do really well.”