Over-the-counter dental products: what to avoid!

Over-the-counter dental products: what to avoid!

In the dental industry, we keep seeing innovations in terms of over-the-counter products. There are hundreds of options but not all of them are recommended.

Bamboo Toothbrushes: Bamboo toothbrushes have recently made their appearance and many are curious about them since they are more environmentally friendly than regular toothbrushes. However, you need to pay attention to the material used for the brush bristles. Some brands use nylon bristles just like regular toothbrushes, but these are not biodegradable and therefore not completely recyclable. Others use natural animal bristles, which are biodegradable, but they are often stiffer and can contribute to gum recession, i.e. gum loss. They also promote the accumulation of bacteria. Therefore, we advise patients to evaluate these different points before choosing the toothbrush that best suits them.

Whitening products: Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are not recommended because they are often abrasive and can harm teeth in the long term. They work more on surface stains, but are just as effective as regular toothpastes. Studies also show that whitening mouthwashes are not effective in whitening teeth, and therefore are not recommended.

Charcoal toothpaste: It is not true that charcoal toothpastes are effective in whitening teeth. They may remove surface stains like any other toothpaste, but they are quite abrasive to teeth and can cause irreversible wear to them over time.


Other over-the-counter products: Which is better?

Dental water flossers: Water flossers such as the Waterpik are a recent alternative to flossing. According to studies, these products are as effective at removing plaque, or bacterial buildup, between teeth as regular flossing. However, the best option for gum health is still by using floss wrapped around the fingers. Water flossers may be an alternative for those with less dexterity, with fixed dentures or for those undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Electric toothbrushes: Manual toothbrushes can be as effective at removing plaque from teeth as electric toothbrushes IF brushing is done properly. Studies show that electric toothbrushes make it easier to brush your teeth, which improves overall dental health. However, with the right dexterity and brushing method, i.e. gentle rotational movements on the teeth and gums, it is more than possible to achieve the same results with a manual toothbrush.


In the hopes that you learned something new! 😉

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