Oral Care Gimmicks (5 Examples of Stuff You Definitely Don't Need)

Oral Care Gimmicks (5 Examples of Stuff You Definitely Don't Need)

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.
February 06, 2022 — Michel Sitruk
The Ins & Outs of Gingivitis

The Ins & Outs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis can flare up at any age but becomes more likely as we age. Quite common (some 47% of the adult population will suffer from it at some point), gingivitis has been on dental professionals' radar since the 1870's, which means we now have a solid grasp on how to attack it. If left untreated, the disease can lead to massive issues. The good news is that with a little effort and the right steps, you can get this under control.

February 04, 2022 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
Mask Off, Smile On

Mask Off, Smile On

After nearly 2 years of covering your smile with a mask, your pearly whites might be lacking luster.

Luckily for you, here are three tips to getting the best post-pandemic smile.

January 29, 2022 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
Sensitive Teeth? There's One Ingredient You Need to Know About

Sensitive Teeth? There's One Ingredient You Need to Know About

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of things ranging including genetics, high acid diets, poor oral hygiene, tooth damage, dental treatments, tooth whitening, and general aging.
January 26, 2022 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
You’ve been brushing your teeth WRONG

You’ve been brushing your teeth WRONG

Brushing your teeth is second nature, so how on earth could you be doing it wrong?

London-based dentist Anna Peterson went viral on TikTok recently when she informed the world that mouthwash after brushing can be worse for your teeth, but that’s not the only dental care misconception we want to clear up.
December 16, 2021 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
3 Cavity Prevention Ingredients: Check Your Toothpaste

3 Cavity Prevention Ingredients: Check Your Toothpaste

With all the toothpastes taking the internet by storm, it’s important to know what the ingredients are doing for your teeth. The goal of your toothpaste should be to clean your teeth and keep them healthy.

Cavity Prevention

It’s in the drinking water, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and other oral care products for good reason. Sodium Fluoride has been consistently proved to be the gold standard for protecting teeth from cavities.

The cavity prevention requires it stay on your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Which means you should avoid rinsing your mouth, eating, or drinking water after brushing.

Fluoride can be toxic at extremely high doses and can cause digestive system distress when ingested at high levels. Fluoride poisoning extremely rare and often not serious. But it is why despite the cavity prevention power, high concentration fluoride toothpaste must be prescribed by a dentist.

Enamel Hardening

After decades if not centuries of believing that when we lost our tooth enamel, it has gone forever, Hydroxyapatite burst onto the scene. This bioactive mineral is a naturally occurring calcium apatite—calcium, phosphorous, and oxygen. It has been found to help bones and tooth enamel grow!

That is right. This very rare mineral was highly sought after and expensive until recently when scientists have been able to recreate this mineral in a lab, making it more widely available to companies and consumers. Look for Hydroxyapatite in toothpaste to help strengthen tooth enamel!

Like Fluoride, it needs time on your teeth to get the full benefit, so don’t rinse, eat, or drink for 30 minutes after brushing for best results.

Great taste without the side effects

Not all sweeteners and flavorings are created equal. When it comes to flavoring in toothpaste, Xylitol is great as a natural sweetener – better than most, but the benefits of xylitol may not extend much beyond its sweet taste. Most research agrees that Xylitol use can reduce presence of the bacteria streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), but it is still unclear if that reduction helps prevent tooth decay. Given the lack of risk and potential benefits, xylitol is a great choice as a sweetener in oral care products.

November 20, 2021 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
Hydrogen Peroxide: What You Need To Know

Hydrogen Peroxide: What You Need To Know

One ingredient dominates the search for a white smile: Hydrogen Peroxide. But it’s not without controversy. We’re here to answer the burning questions about Hydrogen Peroxide and what it means of your teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide is one of the most common ingredients in products for your teeth, but what is it? What does it do? Why should you pay attention when you see it in the ingredient list? Is it safe?

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen Peroxide (H ₂O ₂) is a pale blue liquid in its purest form. Due to the reactive nature of Hydrogen Peroxide, it is rarely found in its purest form outside of highly regulated industrial and military uses. The versatile compound has been used for everything from medicine to rocket propellant.

Most Hydrogen Peroxide is used to bleach products. It is used in industrial paper bleaching, laundry detergents, manufacturing sodium percarbonates (another bleaching agent in laundry and dish detergents), hair bleaching, and tooth whitening oral care products. It is used as an industrial cleaning agent, a domestic cleaning agent, and is one of the best chemicals to use for removing blood stains. Hydrogen Peroxide is a disinfectant for surgical tools, kitchen surfaces, and topical wound care.

Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide?

  • Basically, the same with every 30% carbamide peroxide containing 10% hydrogen peroxide. So, reading “concentrations” and comparing products, divide the carbamide number by 3 to get the percentage of Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • Carbamide peroxide breaks down faster and releases most of its whitening agent within 30-60 minutes, while carbamide peroxide releases approximately 50% of its whitening power within 2 hours, but can remain active for up to 8 hours. So, it’s basically like a time release formula.
  • No difference in sensitivity between the two. The ingredient choice should be made by how the ingredient is applied. For “leave on” treatments, Carbamide peroxide can work longer, but for strips and trays, Hydrogen Peroxide works faster and is more convenient.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe?

The key question to ask when looking at a teeth whitening product containing Hydrogen Peroxide is: What is the concentration and duration of contact?

Implications on Enamel / soft tissue

Because of the acidic nature of Hydrogen Peroxide, runs the risk of damaging enamel and soft tissues of the mouth when used incorrectly. A study conducted by Lewinstein I, Hirschfeld Z, Stabholz A, Rotstein I. in 1994 found that there was no significant enamel damage at concentrations of 6 percent (the percentage in most commercially available white strips). The study also found that the higher concentrations found in in-office bleaching solutions had the potential to damage the microhardness of tooth enamel after exposure lasting longer than 5 minutes and dentin after 15 minutes.

Hydrogen Peroxide is dangerous in high concentrations so use only as directed by the products.

The bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide you can buy on the shelves at grocery stores contain 3-7% concentration, while industrial Hydrogen Peroxide can be much higher. Always check the concentration.

Unless directed by a licensed medical professional, you should not ingest hydrogen peroxide. Even at low concentrations, Hydrogen Peroxide can be toxic to humans, if ingested contact poison control.

    What does Hydrogen Peroxide do if ingested?

    Small amounts of low concentration hydrogen peroxide can cause stomach pains, burns, nausea, and other digestive complications. At higher concentrations, it can cause caustic burns, breathing problems, and ulcers.

      What are the risks with Hydrogen Peroxide?

      When properly used, hydrogen peroxide is safe and effective for whitening teeth. Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation are the most common side effects and often go away with time.

      To ensure you are properly using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your smile, use whitening products as directed. Studies have found that duration on teeth has more effect on the whitening and side effects than concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening solution. Err on the side of not enough time on your teeth vs too much time and stop use if you experience issues with your teeth. 

      How does Hydrogen Peroxide whiten my teeth?

      Hydrogen Peroxide (or any of the other peroxides used in dental whitening such as carbamide peroxide) bleach your teeth by the oxygen in the peroxide, stealing the electrons that hold the staining molecules together. The stains are removed, but the hydrogen peroxide can still search for more molecules to oxidize, which is why duration is just as critical as concentration in keeping your teeth healthy when whitening.

      What are the benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide?

      Hydrogen Peroxide is a safe, effective, and inexpensive teeth whitening agent. It can be found in multiple whitening forms to best fit your lifestyle.

      What hydrogen peroxide whitening solutions are best for whitening teeth?

      Your dentist’s office may have whitening solutions as high as 45% concentration for a one time in-office treatment. For at home whitening, you want to make sure the hydrogen peroxide is on your teeth.

      While toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum seem super convenient, it will take substantially longer to get the same results from a whitening strip or tray.

      What hydrogen peroxide whitening are worst for whitening teeth?

      Mouth washes, gums, and toothpastes. They do not have a long enough duration to whiten teeth effectively on their own.

      What not to do with Hydrogen Peroxide

      Do not DIY your hydrogen peroxide whitening treatment.

      Follow manufacturer guidelines. Err on the side of caution.

      If your teeth feel sensitive after a whitening treatment, shorten exposure time, or stop use of the treatment altogether.




      Li, Y., Greenwall, L. Safety issues of tooth whitening using peroxide-based materials. Br Dent J 215, 29–34 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2013.629


      B Cvikl, A Lussi, A Moritz, S Flury; Enamel Surface Changes After Exposure to Bleaching Gels Containing Carbamide Peroxide or Hydrogen Peroxide. Oper Dent 1 January 2016; 41 (1): E39–E47. doi: https://doi.org/10.2341/15-010-L

      Gerlach RW, Barker ML. Professional vital bleaching using a thin and concentrated peroxide gel on whitening strips: an integrated clinical summary. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2004 Feb 15;5(1):1-17. PMID: 14973556.

      Carey CM. Tooth whitening: what we now know. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014 Jun;14 Suppl:70-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 13. PMID: 24929591; PMCID: PMC4058574.

      Lewinstein I, Hirschfeld Z, Stabholz A, Rotstein I. Effect ofhydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate on the microhard-ness of human enamel and dentin. J Endod 1994;20:61-63.

      Lewinstein I, Hirschfeld Z, Stabholz A, Rotstein I. Effect of hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate on the microhard-ness of human enamel and dentin. J Endod 1994;20:61-63.

      Walsh LJ. Safety issues relating to the use of hydrogen peroxide in dentistry. Aust Dent J. 2000 Dec;45(4):257-69; quiz 289. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2000.tb00261.x. PMID: 11225528.


      November 18, 2021 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
      Our Toothpaste Ingredient Ethos

      Our Toothpaste Ingredient Ethos

      Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride, Potassium Nitrate

      Inactive Ingredients: Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica, Water, Glycerin, Xylitol, Coconut Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Flavor, Menthol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyapatite, Calcium Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract

      Our ingredient Ethos…

      The swirl of buzz words on social media, online shopping and on product packaging makes it hard to sort claims of safe, natural and non-toxic from reality.
      We at Brio believe in transparency in our ingredients and why they are in our products. We want our customers to know what they are putting on their teeth and the purpose of their use.

      Here is a list of ingredients we believe are beneficial to whitening and oral health and therefore choose to include in our oral care products:

      Sodium Fluoride – consider it the O.G. of cavity fighting. Fluoride has over the years proven to be a very effective ingredient in protecting against cavities. So, what is the outrage? Fluoride can be toxic at extremely high doses and can cause digestive system distress when ingested at high levels. This is extremely rare and often not serious. We do not mind if you want to filter fluoride out of drinking water OR refrain from having children use fluoride toothpaste until good brushing habits are established. But we see a benefit to having it in your toothpaste.

      Xylitol – not much controversy here. Xylitol is great as a natural sweetener – better than most, but the benefits of xylitol may not extend much beyond its sweet taste. Most research agrees that Xylitol use can reduce presence of the bacteria streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), but it is still unclear if that reduction helps prevent tooth decay. Given the lack of risk and potential benefits, xylitol is a great choice as a sweetener in oral care products. You will find it in Ollie toothpaste.

      Coconut Oil – We are not going to claim that coconut oil is a wonder ingredient that will bring about world peace. But we choose to include it over another chemical to serve the same purpose because it is antimicrobial, edible and high in lauric acid which studies have shown kills bad bacteria in the mouth.

      Hydroxyapatite – We consider Ha one of the most overlooked ingredients in toothpaste. It is a naturally occurring mineral calcium apatite—calcium, phosphorous, and oxygen. It is found in our bones and tooth enamel. It is a part of a very rare group of minerals that’s bioactive. It has been found to help bones and tooth enamel grow! That is right. After decades if not centuries of believing that when we lose our enamel, it has gone forever, has been reversed all thanks to Hydroxyapatite, the MVP of minerals. This very rare mineral was highly sought after until recently when scientists have been able to recreate this mineral in a lab making it more widely available to companies and consumers. We are very excited to include it in our toothpaste to help boost tooth enamel!

      SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) – SLS is a foaming agent that is used in many toothpastes – it is one of the ingredients that make the toothpaste bubble up in your mouth. The foaming action helps disperse active ingredients during brushing and can help oil and water-based ingredients stay mixed.  Without it, toothpaste can have a watery feel.  It is rare but possible for some individuals be sensitive to SLS, so if you have experienced skin irritation issues in the past, you may want to avoid it. We feel the benefits SLS outweigh the risks and that no better alternatives exist.

      Potassium Nitrate – Sure, the active ingredient in gun powder sounds scary, but this ionic salt has been a staple ingredient in sensitivity controlling toothpaste for years. Potassium nitrate has no known risks and with one in eight people experiencing tooth sensitivity, there was not a good reason to leave it out. Ollie toothpaste and Ollie whitening strips contain Potassium Nitrate.

      Hydrogen Peroxide – One of the most effective whitening tools at our disposal, Hydrogen Peroxide’s safety depends on the concentration, duration, and additives in the whitening solution.
      Our Ollie White strips have a 6% Hydrogen Peroxide dilution which several studies have shown to be both effective in whitening without endangering the micro hardness of enamel like other white strips at higher concentrations. 

This makes Ollie white strips a great choice for people with sensitive teeth who want a bright smile.

      Here are some ingredients you will NOT find in our oral care products.

      Triclosan – An anti-bacterial commonly found in toothpaste and oral care. In general, we believe “anti-bacterial” is not the best idea for toothpaste. Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria, and the majority of them are beneficial. Most dentists agree that efforts to reduce oral bacteria need to be specialized and targeted. The FDA banned Triclosan from soap in 2016 – but not from toothpaste.

      Alcohol – Alcohol is used in wound treatment for a reason. It kills bacteria. Much like Triclosan, it also kills good bacteria in your mouth.  It is also why we do not have alcohol mouthwash.

      Artificial colors – (Blue 1) no, your toothpaste does not have to be colored to be effective. Other than making your sink colorful, artificial colors can be linked to allergies. Bottom line, your toothpaste does not need to look pretty to be effective. If there is no benefit from it, it does not make it into our oral care products.

      Artificial Sweeteners that did not make the Ollie cut:

      Saccharin – not the best sweetener. There are potential links to cancer, which when weighed against the fact that other sweeteners are available, we decided to keep this one out of our products.
      Aspartame – This controversial sweetener has been in the news since its original FDA approval in 1967. Several companies have removed Aspartame from their formulations since the 1990s and we opted not to include it from the start. 

      Charcoal – While this ingredient is not going to react negatively or cause any harm, charcoal does not offer any benefits either. It is used in toothpaste as an abrasive ingredient to scrub off tartar and plaque buildup, unfortunately this abrasive quality makes it abrasive to the good enamel on your teeth when used too frequently. We want our toothpaste to be good for everyday use and chose against hyper abrasion.

      Parabens – Simply put, we do not want Parabens in our products. Parabens are  common artificial preservatives in cosmetics, but recently the industry has been turning away from them for a variety of reasons including mold growth, obesity, links to infertility, among others.  

      Carrageenan – AKA Irish Moss is derivative of seaweed; Carrageenan is gaining popularity as a natural thickener. But a recent study has shown that it is not the ancient miracle thickener many tout it as. As Carrageenan decomposes, it can become toxic. The effects present as intestinal distress, worsening symptoms of conditions like IBS and Crohn’s. While the science is still new, we would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to our customer’s health.

      Propylene glycol – Texture is a big thing to think about whenever you are putting something in your mouth, but in weighing how to keep our toothpaste smooth, we opted against antifreeze, need we say more? Probably not, but we will. Propylene glycol is an additive used to keep the texture in toothpaste and other edible products smooth and easy to squeeze out of tubes. Unfortunately for consumers, Propylene glycol is known to cause skin irritation and organ toxicity.

      When you know better, you do better, and Brio wants to do better with our oral care line.

      October 31, 2021 — Justin Park
      How to Find a Good Dentist

      How to Find a Good Dentist

      Dental care is essential to a healthy lifestyle. 

      The relationship between dentist and patient can be a long-term relationship, but if you’ve moved, switched jobs, or don’t like your current dental care professional, the search for a new one can be taxing.

      You want to build a long-term relationship with a dentist. It is worth the time and effort to find someone who will be with you and your family. The benefits of a quality dentist are more than just convenience, it’s health.

      Here are some tips to getting the best dental care for you and your family:

      Considerations for picking a dentist

      Whether you live in an area with hundreds of qualified dental care professionals or are in a dental desert, here are things to consider before choosing:


      • Talk to friends, family, and coworkers about their dentist
      • Yelp, google, and Facebook reviews


      • X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, whitening, implants etc.


      • Dental insurance in/out of network
      • Medicare/Medicaid
      • Payment plans


      • Location of practice compared to your home/work
      • Office hours
      • Services/specialties available that you may need
      • Emergency hours/fees
      • Policies (missed appointments, late fees, dentist cancellation, etc.)


      • Number of Dentists, Hygienists, Assistants, and their experience
      • Relationships with other specialties
      • Certifications and accreditation

      First Appointment with a new dentist

      • Before your first appointment
      • During your first appointment
      • Between appointments



      When you’re looking for a new restaurant to try, book to read, or movies to watch, you look at reviews.


      X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, whitening, implants, etc. While specialized procedures may require to be referred to another dental professional, you do want to select a practice with a wide array of in-house capabilities: a) they know you and your history; b) they may be able to combine steps, thereby saving you multiple trips.

      Know your coverage

      Whether you are insured through work, public health, private insurance, or not at all, knowing your insurance coverage is key.

      If you are like the approximately 63 million Americans who do not have dental insurance coverage, you should still visit a dentist for regular cleanings.

      When booking an appointment, ask if they have payment plans available for uninsured. The longer a dental issue is left untreated, the more painful it becomes and the more expensive the treatment will be. A cleaning is cheaper than a filling, a filling cheaper than a crown, a crown cheaper than a root canal, and a root canal cheaper than an implant.

      Most dental insurance plans cover preventative treatments 100%. This means your cleanings every 6 months won’t cost you a penny out of pocket and will help save you from expensive treatments down the road.

      Insurance plans will often divide coverage between in and out of network providers. In network means the insurance company and the dentist have negotiated a discount for the services. If you are able, finding an in-network dentist will save you money.

      If you are in a Dental Care Desert, finding an in-network provider may be difficult. But this should not stop you from seeking dental care. If this is your situation, let the dentist know. Often their team will work with you to ease some of the burden of being out of network. (Be it explaining how to file claims, creating a payment plan for services, or other options.)

      It is fair to assume that your dentist wants you to have healthy teeth. While he/she does have to run a business, dentists want you to have a healthy smile and will work with you so you can afford it.

      Find ADA member dentists in your area

      The American Dental Association has requirements of their member dentists for patient protection. An ADA member dentist should understand patients’ rights, staying current with dental advancements, providing quality care, and anti-discrimination. That is not to say non-ADA dentists don’t have those values, but the ADA has done the vetting for you if they are.



      A dentist isn’t a one-person show. Quality support staff can make or break a patient experience. A practice with one dentist and one hygienist won’t be able to handle as many patients as one with more hygienists and dental assistants.


       DDS. The dentist will read x-rays, determine treatment plan, enact treatment plan, perform oral surgery. Common dental procedures dentists provide: Fillings, extractions, repairs to cracked or chipped teeth, treat gum disease, whiten teeth, install crowns and veneers.

      • Education and training
      • Years in business
      • Reviews from patients
      • Philosophies on patient treatment (often on their website about us page
      • Professional accolades
      •  Papers published
      • Speeches given
      • Conferences attended

      Dental Assistant:

      The people who assist the dentist in coordinating patient care (appointments, follow-ups, referrals), sterilize equipment, process x-rays and labs. They often also work with billing, insurance, and patient records. A dental assistant may be able to help you with billing questions and communicating with insurance.
       In some states they also are trained to perform dental procedures like temporary crowns, sealants, fluorides, and topical anesthetic

      •  Education and training
      • Years working and years working with dentist
      • Number of Dental Assistants
      • Tasks Dental assistants perform in the practice

      Dental Hygienists:

      The people who clean your teeth, take x-rays, and remind you to floss more.

      • Education and training
      • Years working and years working with that dentist
      • Number of Hygienists


      Here are some common oral care specialists that might work in an adjacent practice or in conjunction with your new dental provider


      DDS or DMD with specialty training in endodontics. Endodontists focus on the inner workings of your teeth. They focus on preventing dental diseases that affect the blood vessels, roots, nerves, pulp, dentin, and other interior parts of your teeth. Endodontists commonly provide services related to root canals, infected tissue removal, cosmetic dentistry like inner-tooth whitening, implants, and veneers.

      • Hours/days of week with dentist
      • Education and training
      • Procedures they provide
      • Endodontists have different philosophies for treatment and will or will not advocate for certain procedures
      • Anesthesia usage and availability
      • Patient reviews
      • Before/after images of patients
      • Professional accolades
      •  Papers published
      • Speeches given
      • Conferences attended


      DDS or DMD with specialty training in periodontics. Periodontists focus on gums, gum disease, and the ways gums impact overall health of the patient and their teeth. Periodontists delve into deeper medical issues than regular dentists often working with primary care providers for heart disease, diabetes, sinus issues, and pregnancy. Periodontists commonly provide services related to gum health such as dental implant installation, repair, and maintenance

      • Hours/days of week with dentist
      • Services provided
      • Education and training
      • Medical insurance coverage
      • Professional accolades
      •  Papers published
      • Speeches given
      • Conferences attended


      DDS or DMD Orthodontists focus on the structure of your mouth and the way your teeth and jaw impact that shape. They supervise facial growth in children, diagnose and treat misaligned teeth, install and monitor braces, headgear, palate expanders, and retainers.

      1. Hours/days of week with dentist
      2. Education and training
      3. Before/after images of patients
      4. Reviews from patients
      5. Philosophies on patient treatment (often on their website about us page
      6. Professional accolades
      7.  Papers published
      8. Speeches given
      9. Conferences attended

      First appointment with a new dentist

      Not unlike a first date, the first appointment with a new dentist can be nerve-wracking. The care provider wants to know about you, you want to know about them, but ultimately you both want a quality smile in the end.

      Before your first appointment:


      • Start thinking about your mouth and any issues you’re having. The week before your first appointment, take a note of anytime you have sensitivity, pain, or discomfort in your mouth
      • Figure out how you’re going to get there and where to park
      • Particularly in big cities where parking can be expensive and difficult to find
      • Arrive early for paperwork
      • Many practitioners are doing online patient files and will have you fill them out digitally before your first appointment

      At your first appointment:


      • Often new patients will receive X-Rays before any treatments (even cleanings) are given. This can be uncomfortable.
      • Bring up any of the issues you noted in the last week to the hygienist/dentist when they ask
      • Ask any question you have
      • About the procedures, your oral care, your favorite brand of toothpaste and brush.

      Between appointments:

      • Your dentist will give suggestions for how to best care for your smile, but here are things everyone should do between dental appointments for the best experience.
      • Brush regularly
      • Floss daily
      • Pay attention to tooth sensitivity, pain, and mouth discomfort
      • Recommend your awesome new dentist to friends and family


      October 25, 2021 — Justin Park
      How to Pick the Right Toothbrush

      How to Pick the Right Toothbrush

      If you've made the transition from a manual toothbrush to an electric or sonic model, hats off to you: you have taken an important step toward maintaining proper oral health. In this article, we will show you how to build upon this foundation by focusing on an often neglected yet key component of your oral care routine: brush heads. 

      Size, shape, bristle type: all factors that come into play when it comes to choosing the right brush head. Think of this accessory as one that should turbocharge the whole toothbrush performance because its role is nothing short of essential.

      One size fits all

      Let's start by debunking this particular myth. Many a manufacturer of electric or sonic toothbrushes put products out in the marketplace with a single brush head size. Thereby either suggesting that brush heads are not that important or that a unique size will do, regardless of user's needs. The Brio Product Group is not one of those manufacturers. 

      Whether a brush head is small, medium or large plays a part in how you intend to use it and what you are specifically looking to accomplish. Personal comfort matters. Expected results matter no less. Smaller heads will tend to have more concentrated bristles. Larger heads will allow for more complex bristle patterns, yielding different cleaning performances. Pause and think this over. Pick what works for you. 

      Bristles, schnistles

      After all, how much difference can bristles make? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Per the American Dental Association, "(t)he consensus recommendation is for people to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles." The professional, medical concern here is to ensure no damage is done to the gums. At the same time, you want bristles sturdy enough to do a thorough job. The Brio's Smartclean comes with a versatile offering of brush heads, including specialty bristle filaments that are the gold standard when it comes to synthetic options for sonic toothbrushes. Length, diameter, cross-sectioning: everything is well thought out and nothing is left to chance. They also happen to come in very cool colors!

      Pretty colors aside, it is crucial that the bristles withstand back and forth movement at a very high frequency (usually around 30,000 times a minute) because that's where you get the most efficient cleaning. Do a little bit of homework and peruse our side-by-side comparison page. Whether you choose a SmartClean, ProClean or XClean will put different bristle options at your disposal and you'll be in a position to pick what is right for you.

      Set it and forget it

      Sonic toothbrushes should be built to last. That is certainly true of our SmartClean and thousands of testimonials attest to this. A common misconception, however, is that nothing will ever need replacing and that is just not true when it comes to brush heads. Here is what the ADA has to say about manual toothbrushes: "Toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every three to four months or more often if the bristles become matted or frayed. The effectiveness of the brush decreases as the bristles become worn." Wear-and-tear impairs a brush head's ability to clean consistently and thoroughly. Which is why Brio has set up the perfect head replacement program, ensuring you get to wage battle with the optimal spear, month in, month out! 

      Bottom line: brush heads should not be an afterthought. They are, quite literally, where the rubber hits the road. The Brio Product Group works closely with dentists and countless hours of validation have gone into coming up with the SmartClean. Every single component has been questioned, including our brush heads. Now you know why!

      Why a brush head replacement program?

      • Quick to set up, convenient to use
      • The exact right head (for you)
      • Your habits and needs won't vary, ever

        October 18, 2021 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
        Living in a Dental Desert?

        Living in a Dental Desert?

        Of all the things I thought I’d have taken for granted in the transition from kid to teen to adult, having a dentist was not in the top ten of that list.

        But it is now.

        October 14, 2021 — Sydney Katzenmeyer
        What You Need To Know About Teeth Whitening

        What You Need To Know About Teeth Whitening

        Wanting white teeth isn’t a fad, it’s human nature. Humans have been trying anything and everything to whiten their teeth going back as far back as 3,000 years. 

        We’ve come a long way since chewing sticks, ground ox hoof toothpaste, and filing teeth. In the late 1980s, a whole host of new whitening solutions hit the market and more join them each year. The options seem overwhelming. 

        How do you know the right method for you and your family to get the bright white smile we crave? We’ve got your smile’s back, here’s a quick cheat sheet on modern tooth whitening solutions:

        To break it down, let’s first look at the techniques and ingredients used to whiten the teeth:


          ① UV Exposure
        Until recently, UV exposure was something you could only get in a dentist’s chair. Your dentist applies a bleaching -solution based whitening gel to your teeth, then uses a UV light to expedite the gel’s whitening benefits. 

        This is accomplished with strong bleaching solution and heat, light or a combination of the two might also be used to improve the whitening. The best part is that your teeth can get up to eight shades lighter, with long-term results lasting one to three years.



        Immediate results


        Professionally administered


        Can cause sensitivity

        Can cause burns

        Multiple dentist visits


        Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in most teeth-whitening products.
        Like with bleaching your hair, peroxide has a whitening effect because it can pass easily onto teeth and break down complex molecules that lead to discoloration. 

        However, simply buying hydrogen peroxide and putting it on your teeth won’t get the results you want; concentrations can be too strong and damage the enamel, or outer coating, of your teeth. Before you go running to your bathroom cabinet to use the hydrogen peroxide from the grocery store, the peroxide used in whitening treatments is usually between 5 and 30 percent dilution while the bottle you have at home is only 3 percent.

        Now let’s look at how they’re applied to your teeth:

        Tray Whitening

        For people who want to put a little extra effort into their teeth whitening solution, tray whiteners may be a good option. It works like this: customers buy trays that either need to be custom-molded to your teeth or they use an out-of-the-box tray that may not form fit as well. The trays have reservoirs in them for the bleaching gel or hydrogen peroxide, which can both vary in concentration, depending on the brand (a good rule of thumb is that at-home systems contain between 3%-20% peroxide and dentist options contain 15%-43%). Some brands also feature Carbamide Peroxide which can get dramatic results.



        At-home process

        Treatments can be costly

        Trays can be used for years

        Results in 2 weeks


        Uncomfortable application

        Whitening Pens

        These pens can be used daily due to their slow-acting bleaching agents. Many use Carbamide Peroxide which whitens the teeth slower than hydrogen peroxide. Pens are simple to use - you simply paint your teeth with the pen and the product dries quickly.

        Whitening Pens are great for spot treatments but can be tricky to evenly apply to all your teeth. 



        Long shelf life


        Easy to use

        Can paint and bleach gums


        Whitening Strips

        One of the most cost effective, time efficient, and give the results you want.

        Between all of these over-the-counter solutions, the best choice for almost everyone is whitening strips. Results are seen within 3-5 days and can be used almost endlessly. Whitening strips typically have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide (about 10%).

        Being able to choose the duration of the strips on your teeth and the frequency allows you the flexibility to brighten your smile at your pace! Whitening strips can be a great whitening tool for people with sensitive teeth, who want a bright smile without the pain.




        Causes blotches if left too long


        Many choices on the market


        Can be pain free

        Noticeable results

        Whitening Toothpastes

        Arguably the most convenient whitening method, whitening toothpastes take longer to show results, but don’t change any part of your daily routine.

        Whitening ingredients in toothpastes varies from brand to brand. Some toothpastes use peroxide and other bleaching solutions mentioned above. Others use abrasive whiteners like activated charcoal.

        Activated charcoal is a fine grain powder oxidized from heating wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances. When in a toothpaste, it may help remove surface stains but because charcoal is mildly abrasive, it can absorb surface stains. 

        The most effective whitening solutions get stains both on the surface of the tooth and the stains underneath. 

        Most whitening toothpastes don’t contain a bleaching agent, but they may have peroxides - so the best your teeth will do is get about one shade brighter.



        Easy to use


        Widely available

        Less whitening vs. chemical


        Useful for maintenance only

        Other Whitening solutions

        From whitening mouth rinses, whitening dental floss, coconut oil, and even chewing gums, there are tons of other products that claim to whiten teeth. These products, like the toothpaste, usually have minimal whitening capabilities outside of maintenance  

        June 15, 2021 — Sarah Tran