A new year is upon us, and oral health has never been more critical. Oral health is connected to our whole overall health. I always discuss emerging products and top dental products with my patients in my dental chair to encourage them to make small changes in their oral hygiene routine to improve their oral health.
Sometimes, one small change can make all the difference in reducing inflammation and the presence of gum disease, reducing bad breath, and preventing cavities from forming.
As I sit here on my couch with my kitties, reflecting on the year that has gone by and doing my research on dental products, I wanted to create a resource that I can give my patients and you here that includes ten dental products to try in 2023 that can help improve oral health.
*This list is of products I have used myself or done copious amounts of research on. No company has encouraged me to recommend these products, and I am recommending them to you from an unbiased origin that is based on evidence-based science.
1. Electric toothbrush; Oral-B iO
If you haven’t already switched to an electric toothbrush, you really should (I can never go back to my manual brush)!
The best electric toothbrush on the market right now is the Oral-B iO. There are different “series” of this toothbrush, but the base model is acceptable unless you want all of the extra bells and whistles.
You may prefer the Sonicare brand, but studies show that the smaller, round head of the Oral-B electric toothbrush is more effective at removing plaque from the teeth. I have linked some studies below that are of the highest quality.
In this study, the Oral-B was proved to be more effective than Sonicare!
As well in this study, Oral-B comes out as more effective than Sonicare!
I also like how the Oral-B iO not only has a visual pressure sensor that is more noticeable than the Sonicare, but it also has a sensor/light that shines green when you are putting optimal pressure because sometimes we can brush too light, and not put enough pressure on the teeth that is needed for optimal care.
This is why I place Oral-B iO over any Sonicare brushes.
Below is a video I made comparing the Oral-B iO to other electric toothbrushes, including the DiamondClean Sonicare toothbrush.
2. Curaprox manual toothbrush
If you don’t like electric toothbrushes or can’t use an electric toothbrush, one of my favourite manual toothbrushes is made by Curaprox.
These Curaprox brushes (Amazon link) are ultra-soft. They have the perfect spacing between them to prevent bacteria growth on the bristles and provide an excellent brushing experience and a thorough cleaning.
If I could shout to the whole world to stop using medium or hard toothbrushes, I would!
Having an extra soft bristle provides a much better clean than harder bristles because the bristles can bend and contour around the teeth and under the gums, reaching areas a hard toothbrush won’t reach.
I even have an extra large Curaprox toothbrush that I am weirdly very attached to! I love it to show patients how to brush, especially kids. I find an oversized toothbrush is much more engaging than a regular-sized one!
3. Crest whitening strips
Crest whitening strips are the best over-the-counter teeth whitening product you can buy that gives you incredible teeth whitening results. Always buy the Crest Whitestrips that you wear for 30 minutes. You can find the Amazon link here!
Please do not buy any products that come with an LED light. It simply is for looks and is a gimmick to make you think it is doing something to whiten your teeth. The only thing that will whiten your teeth is peroxide (and PAP+, which I will cover in the following subheading).
Avoid whitening toothpaste as well! They are extremely abrasive and do not change the colour of your teeth. The abrasives wear away the surface stain and wear down your tooth surface, which is irreplaceable.
4. HiSmile PAP+ whitening strips
Even though my number one recommendation for teeth whitening strips is the Crest whitening strips, we have to acknowledge that some people suffer from very sensitive teeth!
I have had very sensitive teeth from using peroxide-based whitening products, so I was really curious to try the HiSmile PAP+ teeth whitening strips and see what the hype was about.
I wanted to try the product first before recommending the product to my patients or to you here on the internet.
Below is a video I put together explaining how PAP+ works and how it doesn’t cause tooth sensitivity, and I take you through the whole journey of my using the product and recording my start and finish tooth shades.
I also wrote a post on this product, linked below.
Cocofloss is my favourite dental floss out there on the market. All floss can seem the same, just a thread that you put in your teeth, but they are not made equal.
Different ingredients and materials are used to create many different dental flosses, some of which I am not fond of and do not want to put in my mouth. Below is a link to a post I wrote that includes a list of ingredients from 11 big floss brands.
Also, different floss types have different effects on the plaque, with some floss being more effective than others at disrupting the plaque.
Cocofloss is my favourite because of its rope that has over 500 filaments, making the floss sponge-like, and has more surface area and texture to grab hold of the plaque and food particles.
Try four different flavours of Cocofloss, although my favourite is the Cara Cara Orange, all of them are delicious! Here is the link to a sample pack on Amazon.
Below is a link to a post I wrote about why certain floss is better than others and what I recommend to my patients.
6. Interdental brushes
Interdental brushes are one of the most underrated dental products, especially now that smaller sizes are made to help get in between tight teeth. They are great for around braces, implants (only if the metal is plastic coated), and for people with limited dexterity.
I use them a few times weekly in between my teeth, especially around my lingual wire.
Teeth do not have a perfectly flat surface. The root surfaces have concavities that floss will glide over and not reach into the concavities.
I have two brands that I like, GUM and TPE, depending on what type of handle you prefer. Check out the different sizes they offer. If your gums come up relatively high in between the teeth and there are not a lot of gaps, choose a smaller/thinner brush.
Because the bristles have a lot of contact with the tooth surface, they bend and enter the concavities, where floss can’t reach.
Interdental brushes do not replace flossing, as the brushes cannot go under the gumline as far as floss, but it is an excellent additive to an oral hygiene routine.
7. Toothpaste tablets for on-the-go and travel friendly
Maybe it is because I am a dental hygienist, but I am always the go-to person for emergency dental products when we are out. Floss, brushes, and toothpaste all have a place in the bag I carry around!
I love how many more eco-friendly dental products are emerging on the market, and toothpaste tablets are such a fantastic invention.
They sell ones with fluoride that come in a glass jar, and you can buy refills for them. These toothpaste tablets have replaced the tube of toothpaste that I take travelling with me! And are in my bag for emergencies.
The image below is the Amazon link to the product that I have bought and used!
8. Orahealth XyliMelts
OraHealth Xylimelts is the only product that has been approved product to be used while sleeping.
For people who breathe through their mouth at night, wear a mask/CPAP machine for sleep apnea, or have had cancer treatments that have affected saliva flow, these Xylimelts are amazing.
I recommend them to my patients who fit these criteria, and the feedback has been very positive. I have even used them myself as I was on a medication for a while that gave me a dry mouth!
9. Xylitol gum and lozenges
Little things we do in our habits can go a long way!
Snacking and sipping on food and drinks during the day exposes our mouths to sugar and acid, increasing the risk of cavities and erosion of the teeth.
Especially if you drink water that is infused with fruit or citrus! Please don’t regularly sip on lemon water!
Because of frequent exposure to our mouths, adding in a xylitol gum or lozenge during the day after consuming these things can help the mouth clear the sugar and acid and bring the mouth’s pH level up to an optimal level.
I carry these products in my bag all the time!
Pur gum is my favourite (Amazon link), but I’ve recently tried Therabreath dry mouth lozenges (Amazon link), and I really like the flavour!
10. Allday® Dry Mouth Spray
A dry mouth can cause bad breath and contribute to cavity formation. It can also make us more self-conscious, as a dry mouth can affect our speech, or we become self-conscious of our bad breath.
This product is for you if you don’t like to chew gum or prefer a spray.
Allday dry mouth spray also has a very high concentration of xylitol and is more of a therapeutic agent than the gum you chew after a meal.
This product would be for people who suffer from more extreme dry mouth or can’t produce saliva on their own.
Being a dental hygienist is a rewarding career because I can help and motivate people to improve their oral health and overall health.
The products I have gone over in this post have helped not only myself but my patients improve their health and well-being!
My goal for you is to change one thing in your oral hygiene routine that will be a small step in the right direction to help improve your oral health!
Have a wonderful day!