Anyone that’s been to the grocery store, pharmacy, or massive one-stop-shop like Target or Walmart recently knows the options for dental care products are extensive. Some products, like top-of-the-line electric toothbrushes, can cost as much as $180.00, while a simple “manual” brush retails for around $2.00. Toothpaste, too, can cost as little as $2.50 for the no-frills “plain-old-fluoride” kind, while their “whitening, enamel-strengthening, healthy gum, etc.” counterparts can cost double or triple that. The price disparity between “good” and “bad” toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss, and mouthwashes if striking enough for smart consumers to ask the question: Does it really matter?
Because we value our teeth – they are the only set we get, at least until science finds a way to grow new ones – it makes sense to buy the most expensive products available, right? The dental experts at Infinite Dental Wellness, however, say that good dental hygiene doesn’t require the fanciest electric toothbrush or tube of “designer” toothpaste.
“As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, that’s the ingredient that really fights cavities,” says Dr, Kiraj. “Whitening agents will help your smile look better, of course, but you’ll also pay a little extra for a whiter smile. The best thing to do is check for the ADA approval on the tube or box. These days, most brands sold at the store carry the ADA’s seal of approval, so you really can’t go wrong.”
And what about toothbrushes?
“Electric toothbrushes do a great job of cleaning teeth, but they can present problems of their own. If you follow good brushing habits – brushing all surfaces of the mouth for two minutes, not pressing too hard, and replacing your toothbrush every three months –then there is little reason to invest a lot of money in an expensive toothbrush. Really, if you brush twice a day, floss, avoid sugary snacks, don’t smoke, and get bi-monthy checkups, you can have very have healthy teeth without spending hundreds on top-of-the-line dental products.”
Is mouth wash necessary?
“I think mouthwash is a good idea,” says Dr. Kiraj. “It helps sweep away particles of food that your toothbrush might have missed. If you buy mouthwash, though, be sure to get the kind with fluoride. Alcohol will help kill bacteria that causes bad breath, but only fluoride will protect your teeth too.”