Yes, use this. No, don't use that. The endless slew of seemingly well-intended (and often contradictory) information about how we should care for our teeth is enough to make an informed consumer crazy. When it comes to picking products for ultimate oral care, you want to strike the right balance between market research and complete trickery. The first order of business is to steer clear of anything that sounds superfluous, far-fetched or downright gimmicky.

A few examples come to mind.


Charcoal Is God's Gift to Teeth Whitening

Let's think about this for a second. The last person in your family to have held or seen a natural lump of coal is Great-Grandpa Jeremiah. You, in 2022, are presented with the idea that a black material is your best go-to for teeth whitening. Provocative enough to actually be true, right? No. We now know that this marketing ploy is not based in anything remotely resembling analysis or science. "Charcoal-activated" sounds cool and powerful but alas means nothing. In fact, charcoal-based toothpastes are abrasive to the teeth and potentially harmful to existing fillings. Adding insult to injury, they often do not contain fluoride, which means they'll actually expose you to more potential harm as time goes by. Hard pass.

Toothbrushes That Come with Their Own Apps

Seriously? How about a telepathic transmitter? And a magic beam connected to your toaster so you can kick start tomorrow's toast before going to bed? You neither need a visual rendition of your brushing habits nor know where you stand relative to your "goals". Oral hygiene is a clearly defined concept and teeth are living organisms with many nerve endings. Know your mouth and learn to gauge your efforts. And by the way, who do you think will benefit most from this data, you or the company collecting (assuming you even know who that may be)?

Alcohol In Mouthwash A Better Mouthwash Makes

Sounds good, on the face of it. Like saying that sandpaper will scrub your skin better than a loofah...Most of the mouthwash products currently on the market contain north of 26% alcohol (ethanol). Think about this level of ethanol concentration and what would happen if you actually drank some of your mouthwash. The idea here is that alcohol is the most effective component for killing the bacteria living in your oral cavity. There are clear alternatives offered by alcohol-free mouthwash brands, as well as a number of emerging studies pointing out the damaging effects of alcohol on gloss, color and wear of your teeth through repeated uses.  

You Should Only Use Natural toothpaste

Here's the thing: product marketing works to line up a given product with one's beliefs and sensibilities. This is truer today than ever before and the notion that consumers purchase from a brand "because its core tenets align with mine" is a powerful one. But toothpastes exist for a reason and they need to perform the task required in your arsenal of tools for ultimate oral care. Before you jump on natural toothpaste (let alone "all-natural toothpaste"), ask yourself: does this work? Is it effective? And does it contain the ingredients that we know are essential to an effective toothpaste or were those eliminated (and replaced with lesser agents) just so that they could be marketed as natural products?

You Need An Ergonomic Handle

No, you don't. How well you hold your toothbrush and at what angle will make little difference to your overall oral health. What will, however, make a world of difference is switching from a manual instrument to a sonic toothbrush, like the Brio SmartClean. It is the end-result of very well thought-out engineering and design work. But its handle? Plain round cylinder

February 06, 2022 — Michel Sitruk

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