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.
“Dentistry is really en vogue these days, people are really interested,” says Dr. Jennifer Plotnick, the dentist behind the oft-Instagrammed Grand Street Dental.
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
Plotnick tells us there are three main reasons of using toothpaste:
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!)
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.”
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