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New or Trending Hygiene/Dental Products for Consumers in 2020

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste/Whitening Powder

I’ve had several patients ask about dental products for consumers, which can include using items like charcoal toothpaste or powder. The Charcoal toothpaste is no different than if a patient used whitening toothpaste. It only removes surface stains due to its abrasive property, but doesn’t actually whiten the tooth structure. Even though there aren’t any great dental concerns when using this product, there are some cons. It can leave residue along the gum line, especially if the patient doesn’t have great home care. Also, the charcoal can settle along gum lines or heavy plaque/calculus. In the end, the abrasive property can be harmful to areas of recession/exposed root structure, may even cause more sensitivity. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we are always sure to stay up-to-date with the latest products, so we know what might work well for our patients.

Before and After Charcoal toothpaste

In addition, if a patient is using dental products for consumers like active charcoal for oral care, they may be using other products/supplements containing it as well. It should be noted that activated charcoal can interfere with some medications. Activated charcoal may also reduce absorption of certain nutrients.

Medications affected are: 

  • Acetaminophen
  • Digoxin
    • Used for heart disease. It is a medication that helps your heart work better to send blood through your body. It strengthens the heart muscle’s contractions and slows your heart rate. 
      • types of digoxin include: digoxin (lanoxin, lanoxicaps, digitek) and digitoxin (crystodigin)
  • Theophylline
    • Theophylline is a relatively weak but inexpensive bronchodilator containing a chemical similar to caffeine. It relaxes the smooth muscle that surrounds the airways.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been used to treat depression since the 1950s. They tend to cause more side effects than newer drugs for depression. As with all antidepressants, you must take TCAs for a while before it starts to work. 
      • Types of TCAs include amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine Asendin), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil).

Electric Toothbrushes: An Excellent Dental Product for Consumers when Used Correctly

There are a lot of selections for dental products for consumers when it comes to electric toothbrushes. I always get asked, “which is the best?” Honestly, they are really all the same as long as the patient is using them correctly. 

Newer or trending models: 

burst toothbrush

BURST

  • Charcoal Bristle
    • Super soft charcoal-infused PBT nylon bristles: specially designed to remove surface stains. BURST has been clinically proven to provide up to 91% greater plaque removal vs a manual toothbrush. The charcoal is naturally antimicrobial which helps to keep the bristles hygienic for the lifetime of the brush head.
  • 33,000 Sonic Vibrations Per Minute
    • Versus a manual toothbrush, BURST reduces gum bleeding up to 3x more after just 15 days.
  • 2 Minute Timer
  • 3 Brushing Modes
    • Whitening, sensitive and massage.
  • Powerful, Long-Lasting Lithium Battery
  • Cost $69.99, with a subscription replacement heads are $6.00 a piece.
quip toothbrush

QUIP

  • Sensitive, silent sonic vibrations
  • 2-minute timer with 30-second pulses
  • Waterproof & shower-safe
  • Mirror mount that doubles as a travel cover.
  • Electric sets for adults and kids start at $25, with refill plans from $5.
waterpik sonic fusion

WATERPIK SONIC FUSION TOOTHBRUSH

  • Sonic-Fusion combines the power of an advanced sonic toothbrush with the Waterpik Water Flosser. The toothbrush head features a built-in water flosser tip that pulsates from the center of the toothbrush, allowing you to use one device for both brushing and flossing
  • A clinical study conducted by Waterpik found that Sonic-Fusion is 2X as effective as traditional brushing and flossing for reducing plaque and improving gum health. BUT NO STUDY ON HOW EFFECTIVE FOR PREVENTING INTERPROXIMAL CAVITIES OR INTERPROXIMAL CALCULUS!
  • Patient can use most mouthwashes in the reservoir. The exceptions are povidone-iodine and pure essential oil such as tea tree oil. If any agent other than water is used in the reservoir, you should flush the unit with water after using it.
  • Sonic-Fusion includes patented water flossing brush heads.
  • 2-minute brushing timer with a 30-second pacer.
  • Advanced pressure control
  • Recharge indicator light
  • Includes deluxe toothbrush travel case
  • The price range of $169.99-$199.99

Personally, when it comes to dental products for consumers, I am not a fan of the Waterpik. I think if you use it in combination with traditional floss it can be beneficial, or if patient is in full ortho, or older with lost dexterity then it can be better than not flossing all.

smile direct club

Smile Direct Club

I’ve had multiple patients ask about the smile direct club which offers dental products for consumers and makes claims to straighten teeth without having to see an orthodontist. But, I always advise my patients to see an actual orthodontist so that the orthodontic treatment can be evaluated appropriately and monitored throughout the whole process. I’ve seen one patient that took an impression and sent them in to start the process through Smile Direct Club. I haven’t gotten a chance to see this patient again though to see how the process was proceeding. I found the following articles to be very interesting about the risks and cons of the “easy” Smile Direct Club. 

At Home Scalers

I’ve had a patient ask if they should use dental products for consumers such as a “pick” or “scaler” in-between cleanings. I tell them absolutely not! I explain to them that they will end up doing more damage than good. Instead, they should just continue to focus on brushing 2xday and flossing daily. Here is an ultrasonic scaler that anyone can purchase online (“tooth stone” made me chuckle, haven’t heard that one before.)

CLEANORAL ULTRASONIC TOOTH CLEANER

CLEANORAL ULTRASONIC TOOTH CLEANER

  • Effectively removes dental plaque, dental calculus and stains remove hard tartar easily from the teeth preventing gum disease.
  • Using the remover in your current dental care routine will decrease the level of bacteria in the mouth resulting in a fresher breath.
  • High-Frequency Vibration Remover, Physical Remove Dental Calculus.
  • Safest Medical dental Materials: Food-grade silicone/PC/ABS/304 stainless steel head; high quality, easily clean Dental Calculus, Tartar Smoke, Coffee stains, Tea Spots, etc.
  • 5 gear intensity adjustment, suitable for different needs, relaxation and comfort, comfortable and comfortable.
  • Built-in rechargeable battery.

Some reviews left by buyers:

Jennifer S.

I started using this pick to get rid of some plaque that had built up on the back of my bottom front teeth between dental appointments. Working slowly over a couple of days, I was able to remove all of the calculus. My dentist commented that whatever I was doing, to keep at it because my teeth and gums looked so healthy. This tool is especially helpful if you have hard-to-reach spaces due to crooked teeth.

  • Need to be careful not to say to patients to keep doing whatever they are doing at home, but instead always reminded them about brushing/flossing/mouth rinse and keeping their routine PROFESSIONAL cleanings.   

Cynthia

I absolutely hate going to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. I’ve had hard plaque build up in my bottom teeth for years and when I smile I try to only show my top teeth. I have only used it once but I already see the calculus disappearing. This may save my teeth after all!!

  • This may be someone who thinks they can clean their own teeth and don’t need to go to the dentist for a professional cleaning. But, just think if they have periodontal disease and are only removing some supra calculus and letting the sub calculus and bacteria just fester for years! Not good.