2013 Top 10 Best Over-the-Counter Products You Can’t Live Without
Retailing for around $29.95, this travel companion is a must have for those of us on the go. While it may seem like a good idea to pack our toothbrush for that long ski weekend in your carry on–which you have had since college–this fashionable sterilizer ensures your brush is clean and ready to use every time. It can also be used in the bathroom, since we know how clean those sinks are! This little beauty combines function and esthetics all-in-one.
I love what the people of Orabrush have done to make the tongue part of the oral hygiene regiment. Bad breath is a very common dental complaint, and while other factors may be at play, I do recommend my patients eliminate bacteria on the tongue by cleaning it daily–twice if you are an overachiever! It’s not enough to simply brush your tongue, which can push unwanted bacteria further into the crevices. Orabrush not only has bristles to reach deep into the crevices, but also the plastic scraper which clears away odor causing bacteria. Use this and see the difference.
This product should have parents everywhere doing back flips. Since its availability ACT has effectively reduced cavities and strengthened teeth for both kids and adults in areas where fluoride is not available in the water. It has a 10 oz. dosing meter on the cap for easy use, and can be combined with flossing to further reduce the risks of cavities between the teeth. Tastes great, works great, it is great.
I truly understand why this is the #1 recommended sensitive toothpaste after seeing its effects firsthand. Too many times have I seen a patient come in with toothbrush abrasion lesions, receding gums, or even sensitivity from bleaching, and this product makes me look like a hero. Fact: I did not have a hand in formulating this product. But whoever thought up this toothpaste should receive a commendation–it’s the potassium nitrate that makes it a great desensitizer. Try it and you will be a convert too.
17-29% of adults experience dry mouth, which can cause increased cavities, trouble speaking or swallowing, and bad breath. Enter Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse. Loaded with enzymes that are naturally found in saliva, Biotene helps protect and moisten tissues that normally would be susceptible to infection. It’s not your mother’s mouth rinse, which contains drying alcohol and lauryl sulfate. Biotene is as close to a saliva substitute as it gets–if your saliva had a hint of mint in it.
This is actually the toothpaste I have in my bathroom at home, but any whitening toothpaste that includes fluoride is just as good. The reason I prefer this one is that it takes away the surface stains caused by excessive coffee drinking, blueberry and wine consumption and the like, but isn’t as aggressive as some of the other whitening toothpastes–meaning you do less damage if you disregard your dentist by brushing too hard. It also has a pleasant taste (smooth peppermint), prevents excessive tartar buildup (good news for the gums), and the people at P & G even squeezed fluoride in there to prevent cavities. Great taste, removes stains, and still protects against tartar buildup and cavities. What’s not to love?
I have mixed emotions about this product as a dentist. It doesn’t allow people to make “C” shapes against the surfaces of the teeth, which is the best technique for flossing. It does, however, get people to do what manual floss never could: floss. And for that I have to tip my hat to the makers of Plackers. Many of my patients that didn’t initially find time in their busy schedules to floss have since become converts simply because this product allows them to do it in the car, at work, or even while watching television–disclaimer don’t floss while driving. We are a society who likes things fast and easy. This makes flossing both of those things.
I ranked this product so high because it combines both oral tissue health and cavity prevention in one–even if you too prefer the above mentioned Plackers. For years I have encouraged my patients to dip their floss in fluoride rinse to combat high-cavity risk areas, mostly in between the teeth. This simplifies the process and has been shown to deliver all the impregnated fluoride to these areas (3x what normally is delivered), many times preventing or reversing small cavities before they get larger. Genius!
This is what I recommend to patients that can’t afford professional take home bleaching trays. Preloaded trays that the patient wears for 15-20 minutes for 5-10 days. The trays are easy to use, come in melon or mint flavor, and the results are what you would expect from a great take home kit. Great for the patient on the go.
The #1 question I get in my office is what kind of toothbrush I recommend. Phillips Sonicare has become synonymous with the standard in care for electric toothbrushes since its induction in 1992. The DiamondClean is the latest version, proving Philips is committed to improving on an already good thing. It has 5 different settings for slower speeds, whitening, gum massages, or hard to clean areas. The brush feels lighter and comes with an easy to charge, less cumbersome dock. And don’t let its sleek look fool you, it removes 5x more plaque than manual brushing alone and will ensure you impress your dentist at your next checkup.
Writing, as always, from beautiful Pearl River, NY located in Rockland County