Our dental product recommendations
*Obligatory disclaimer: we have no stake, ownership, or profit off of these products. We just want you to have the best defense to keep your mouth healthy!
We are big proponents of electric toothbrushes. We know they can be quite expensive, though. It is proven that electric brushes do a better job at removing plague compared to a manual (non-electric) toothbrush. If purchasing a good electric can save you from getting one cavity or one deep cleaning, it essentially has paid for itself, not to mention, it prevented you from needing additional dental work.
Now, hopefully, you are convinced that an electric toothbrush is best for you, but now which one?? Honestly, between Oral B and Philips Sonicare, you can't go wrong. There are a lot of new brushes, but we would recommend staying away from those until they are a little more proven.
Whichever brush you choose, the #1 rule for using an electric brush is NO SCRUBBING! Just move the brush around the teeth and let the brush do the work. The movement of the brush head, combined with scrubbing can be VERY DAMAGING to both the teeth and gum tissue.
For the Sonicare brand, we recommend the DiamondClean line. The ProtectiveClean line is a little less expensive, and not quite as powerful, but still a good option. The newest DiamonClean Smart has some pretty cool technology features to help you get the best clean possible. Of course, that one is the most expensive. A lot of times, we will recommend Costco's double pack of the DiamondClean as the best deal. Only need one? Find a friend and bring them along to good side of better oral health!
As for Oral B, they have a great brush and we recommend at least the Pro 3000 model. Again, the lower end models are still better than a non-electric brush, but you do see improved hygiene and plague control with the higher end models.
Have you ever stood in the toothpaste aisle of the grocery store or pharmacy and just been paralyzed by choice? It is OK if you have, there are a lot of choices!
Our overall recommendation is Colgate Total SF. There is a Clean Mint, Whitening and Advanced Whitening formula. The "stronger" the whitening claim, the more abrasive the toothpaste is. Be careful with the "stronger" whitening toothpaste because if you scrub too hard with it, it will act like sandpaper to your gums and root surface causing recession and notching in the teeth.
For non-fluoride toothpaste, we recommend Tom's of Maine. Some Tom's of Maine toothpastes will have fluoride, so look for the fluoride-free designation. If you do get another fluoride-free toothpaste, please make sure that there is xylitol in the list of ingredients. Xylitol is a natural anti-cavity ingredient that is showing promise in helping fight off cavities.
For sensitive teeth, we recommend Colgate Sensitive or Sensodyne Deep Clean. The main ingredient we are looking for in a sensitivity toothpaste is potassium nitrate. It will help block the transmission of cold/sweet sensation to the nerve of the tooth, improving sensitivity. If there are very focused areas that you experience sensitivity, feel free to take a small amount of sensitivity toothpaste and rub it on that area before you go to bed. Almost think of it as an ointment, and the longer contact time it has with the tooth, the better and quicker it will work. It normally takes about 3 weeks of brushing twice a day with sensitivity toothpaste to see results.
In our opinion, your everyday mouthwash should have fluoride in it. Our two main recommendations are Listerine TotalCare (Purple) or any of the ACT Brand.
If you prefer non-fluoride, then Tom's of Maine is going to be your best bet.
Some patients will experience aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and those can be very uncomfortable. Using a mouthwash like Colgate Peroxyl can help those heal faster and decrease the discomfort you may experience with them. If they are really uncomfortable, our doctors can use laser technology to get rid of the pain.
Water flossers are not for everyone, but people who would definitely benefit from them are those patients going through orthodontic treatment, those who have spaces, or food traps, between their teeth, and those who have gum recession.
The number one complaint of water flossers is "they are so messy!" We know they can be, so we actually recommend the cordless/waterproof models and that you use it in the shower. Here is a link to the cordless WaterPik Flossers.
Biggest factors to look for is the power and the capacity. All of these have the same power, but the capacity of the 2 more expensive ones is slightly more allowing for less refills. Also, the ability of the tip to rotate is nice to be able to get to those hard to reach areas.
Not many new breakthroughs in the world of floss. Find a floss that works well for you. A lot of times we will recommend Flossers just because they are easier to use. Because flossing your back teeth can be the toughest, look for the angled flossers to get those back teeth.
Flossers for Back Teeth
Flossers for Front Teeth
If you have bigger spaces between your teeth (hoping you are using a water flosser at home), then you should use Interproximal Brushes in addition to floss. We recommend GUM Proxabrushes that come in a variety of sizes. When you have bigger spaces between teeth, floss will get the big piece of food out, but leave more behind. Proxabrushes will actually clean the tooth better allowing the fluoride, or xylitol, in your toothpaste and mouthwash to contact the tooth surface and keep it strong and healthy.
So we intentionally put whitening at the bottom hoping you read about the oral health related products first. Hope it worked!
We do not love whitening toothpaste. It only works by being abrasive against the teeth and that can be harmful to the gums and the root surface of your teeth. If you do use a whitening toothpaste, be very careful to not scrub you teeth in a horizontal back and forth motion. Small, light little circles with an electric brush is the best way to use whitening toothpaste and to prevent damage to your teeth or gums.
Crest White Strips are good products, but don't whiten all the visible teeth for patients who have a wider smile. They will cover your front 6-8 teeth, so if you smile big and see more than that, know that your front teeth will be nice and white, but the back teeth will still be darker.
There has been a lot of marketing for the Glow Whitening system. Even Crest is getting into the light activated whitening game. It is similar technology to what we use with our Zoom In-Office Whitening, but the difference is we keep your teeth perfectly dry when the light is shining on them. With Glow and Crest White Strips, placing the light in your mouth will cause a good amount of saliva to flow and that will essentially dilute the whitening material making it less effective.
We prefer to have our patients do either custom whitening trays or Zoom In-Office whitening. It's not to make money, it's just because you will get better results with less unwanted side effects. That being said, it is definitely more economical to try an at-home whitening option.