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Which are your favorite teeth cleaning products?
March 3, 2011 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Which are your favorite teeth cleaning products? Favorite regular or electric toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, floss picks, mouthwash, etc.?

After a recent dentist visit, I've renewed my efforts in teeth cleaning and I started wondering if there are any quality products unknown to me. Any recommendations you have are welcome.

For example: is there a particular brand of floss you find to be better than all others? Has a certain model of electric toothbrush really improved your cleaning?
posted by sharkfu to Health & Fitness (56 answers total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
 
The "Glide" floss (I think it's Oral-B) is really great. My teeth are really tightly packed (even after braces, etc.) and it is the only kind I can use comfortably.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:52 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love my Sonicare toothbrush so much that I would grab it on the way out of my burning home.
posted by banannafish at 3:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


Sonicare really is better. My teeth feel all tingly-smooth every night now that we have one.

Waterpiks are great for your teeth, but they themselves are so clumsy and awkward to use - the water is never ever the right temperature, not enough pressure, not enough water in the tank...try this faucet-attached type, instead. SO AMAZING.
posted by peachfuzz at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Tom's of Maine Peppermint and Spearmint toothpaste. If I forget to bring mine when I'm on vacation, it really sucks to deal with the artificial taste of regular toothpaste.
posted by mesha steele at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2011


I'm a big fan of the GUM Soft Picks. I have braces, so floss is a bit difficult for me. These are really easy and get the space between my teeth quite clean.

I also like the oral irrigators, which spray pressurized water into the tight spaces in your mouth. Good for getting rid of any chunks of stuff before you brush and floss to get rid of the biofilm.
posted by jrockway at 3:57 PM on March 3, 2011


Nthing Glide floss and Tom's of Maine toothpaste. For an extra kick, try Tom's Wicked Fresh toothpaste.
posted by ellenaim at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2011


If you want to be extra-fancy, Marvis Jasmin Mint toothpaste. It comes in a stylish tube with an ornate cap and it tastes like flowers. It's stupidly expensive, but it makes me feel like the Princess of Oral Hygiene.

If you like licorice, Tom's of Maine Fennel.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tom's of Maine! i use the sensitive version. it takes a week or so to get used to, but i'll never, ever go back.
posted by nadawi at 4:04 PM on March 3, 2011


A powered toothbrush will make brushing go by sooo much faster.

I'm working off a huge spool of dental floss ex-OtherHeretical had and never used, and it's okay but nothing special so I won't bother mentioning it. I'm also working off a huge stash of toothpaste.

For mouthwash, I'm not sure what I want to use so I can't recommend anything along those lines either. (I am highly interested in any suggestions folks have for alcohol-free mouthwash, though!)
posted by Heretical at 4:06 PM on March 3, 2011


Sonicaire, floss, and my perio-aid (try not to be grossed out by the singularly unappealing photos. It is really a good little tool).
posted by Danf at 4:07 PM on March 3, 2011


Oral-B Super Floss is a fluffy floss. It makes me happy.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2011


Glide is the only floss for me. And my Oral-B electric toothbrush is ok. (I spent years thinking that electric toothbrushes were ridiculous, but my dentist and periodontist recommend them and I figured that if once you already need a periodontist, you really should listen to her.) For toothpaste, I just get whatever fluoride-packing non-whitening toothpaste is cheapest.
posted by Zed at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2011


For taste, Metroid baby nailed it: Tom's of Maine Fennel and Marvis Jasmine Mint.

For effective cleaning: Sonicare toothbrush (and Arm and Hammer Dental Care toothpaste)

For Flossing: Oral B Ultra Floss

For Mouthwash: Listerine Original Flavor (or its generic equivalent)
posted by holterbarbour at 4:12 PM on March 3, 2011


Reach Total Care floss is awesome; it has textured sides so that it gets things cleaner.

My uncle, who's a dentist but not my dentist, has made my entire family promise to only use Colgate Total toothpaste.
posted by punchtothehead at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm very happy with Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash - alcohol free, not too strong or drying, very effective for improving gum condition.

GUM Expanding dental floss leaves my teeth feeling cleaner than most other types of floss.
posted by Corvid at 4:17 PM on March 3, 2011


I love Oral B Essential floss because it doesn't shred, and it's just waxy enough to not hurt and yet not get stuck between my teeth like some of the thicker flosses out there (I have troubles with Glide).

I also like the smaller, more precise head of the Oral-B electric toothbrush with timer, though I don't like how quickly the battery runs down. I hear they have a rechargeable one, though.

ACT mouthwash. It doesn't taste so much like cough medicine. I was so sad when my store was briefly out of it and I had to go back to Scope. Gag.

I'm not bound to any particular brand of toothpaste. In fact, I'm not even sure what I'm using right now. I think it's Colgate?
posted by katillathehun at 4:21 PM on March 3, 2011


I wouldn't say 'like' is exactly the word, but as a veteran of dental wars I think the best products are a Sonicare toothbrush and unwaxed dental floss--the Glide stuff seems a little *too* comfortable. I think it's more designed to pass through teeth easily than ruggedly scrape off little food particles. Maybe if you're teeth are pretty good anyway, it's okay.

I would say that zoning out on the internet while flossing, then again while brushing, improves the experience and makes the "full two minutes" of that horrible buzzing thing in my mouth makes it a slightly more bearable (and ignorable) experience.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:24 PM on March 3, 2011


I had a nightmare the other night, and part of it was that someone had stolen my Sonicare toothbrush.
posted by ghost dance beat at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I totally love my new sonicare and the iPhone toothbrush timer app I downloaded to make sure each quadrant of my mouth gets the right amount of brushing time.
posted by sugarfish at 4:28 PM on March 3, 2011


Nthing the Sonicare. I got one for Christmas to replace my cheap Oral-B electric brush, and the difference is amazing. Also, while we're in the same neighborhood a tongue scraper makes a huge difference in how fresh your mouth feels.
posted by nulledge at 4:28 PM on March 3, 2011


My favorite floss is Johnson & Johnson Reach. I find the Glide stuff to be too thick and slick. You may want to try buying the smallest container of more than one and see what you like.
posted by wondermouse at 4:37 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Arm & Hammer Dental Care Toothpaste. Also, always an extra-soft brush.
posted by mmf at 4:39 PM on March 3, 2011


We also use Glide floss and Tom's of Maine for toothpaste. I'm currently trying Crest Pro-Health mouthwash - it is alcohol free and seems to do a good job with fresh breath and reducing plaque and gingivitis. My son has problems with soft enamel and he swears by ACT mouthwash twice a day.
posted by garnetgirl at 4:41 PM on March 3, 2011


Biotene mouthwash. It's for dry mouths, but it's thick and smooth and a more pleasant experience than harsh listerine-type washes.
posted by BlooPen at 4:41 PM on March 3, 2011


Yes, Tom's of Maine, worth extra cost to avoid the hideous saccharine taste in virtually all other pastes. Anybody know of one that doesn't have saccharine?
posted by fivesavagepalms at 4:44 PM on March 3, 2011


Glide Pro-Health Deep Clean in the tactical silver box. I foolishly didn't import any to the UK and flossing is no longer fun.
posted by MadamM at 4:45 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Super Floss, cuz Glide just doesn't work for me. I have an implant, and have been told to use Aim toothpaste, which I hate, but it is low abrasive and that's what's been recommended. Oh yeah, and Sonicare toothbrush!
posted by 6:1 at 4:52 PM on March 3, 2011


Nthing Sonicare and Tom's of Maine toothpaste, also Johnson & Johnson Reach in mint waxed.

And after Sonicare and flossing, I like to finish up with a soft headed regular toothbrush (Oral B makes good ones) and the Tom's orange/mango.
posted by bearwife at 4:52 PM on March 3, 2011


I have a Sonicare. It's better than the last electric I had, but I'm not all that excited about it.

My favorite manual brush is the Mouthbrush by Radius. They may not call it the Mouthbrush anymore. It's the one with the wide head and fat handle. Lots of soft bristles. It cleans my teeth better than the Sonicare, but it also takes more time and effort, so I alternate between them.

POH NoWax Classic White Floss. It's nylon and very thin, and I like it a lot better than any of the Teflon flosses I've tried. I used to use J&J Ultra-thin, but I can't find it anymore. I had to order I think a dozen rolls of the POH, so now I have a lifetime supply of floss, but the price was reasonable, and I really like the floss.

Butler FlossMate flossing tool. Sturdier than the disposable floss picks, and far superior to fingers.

I'm pretty indifferent to toothpaste. Whatever's cheap. I do check that it's fluoride, but I'm not sure you can even buy non-fluoride anymore.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:55 PM on March 3, 2011


Any sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate-free toothpaste--which does not cover every Tom's of Maine toothpaste, I've found--partly because SLSs can, if you're sensitive to them, cause those little white comedones around your mouth.
posted by liketitanic at 4:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wondering if I can piggyback on this (great question sharkfu!). I have an old Sonicare (5-6 years or so), and gross, disgusting gunk always seeps between the two parts. Does anyone have a newer model? Does this still happen with it?
posted by raztaj at 5:09 PM on March 3, 2011


I brought a supply of Parodontax back from my last trip to Europe. When it runs out, I'll go with Weleda's ratanhia toothpaste.
posted by holgate at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a newer model, raztaj. No, this no longer happens with the new one, but I do periodically need to clean the charging base where the bottom of the Sonicare sits.

Also want to throw in a plug for the GUM go-betweens. I like them a lot, when I have time, as a flossing followup.

It is my (awesome) dentist that gave me my big dental routine -- and, many moons ago, my first Sonicare.
posted by bearwife at 5:17 PM on March 3, 2011


Baking soda. I went about six years between cleanings a while back, but brushed with baking soda the whole time. When I got my teeth cleaned, the hygienist found no problems, and said my teeth looked like they'd been cleaned in the last six months. Actually, she said they looked better than a lot of people's look only three months after a cleaning. And it does leave your teeth feeling very clean.
posted by bricoleur at 5:46 PM on March 3, 2011


Vita-Myr and sometimes the tiniest drop of oregano oil on my tooth brush, absolute bomb for gingivitis and bleeding gums.
posted by hortense at 6:40 PM on March 3, 2011


Toothbrush: Spinbrush by Arm & Hammer (I'd like a Sonicare but they are spendy)

Toothpaste: Arm & Hammer Extra Whitening (I must have paste, gel is gross)

Floss: GUM - Waxed/Mint Flavour (I rarely floss, I have only one spot that gets stuff stuck in it and that drives my hygienist and dentist nuts. They want me to floss but can't really think of a reason because due to my mouth/teeth structure and flora I don't need to. "Just because" doesn't work on me. Anyway, I'm not picky about floss as long as it's small and glides well.)
posted by deborah at 7:01 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use a water pik tanked with 1/2 water, 1/4 mouthwash (rich with alcohol!) and 1/4 hydrogen peroxide. For the record, I haven't been to a dentist since 1977. This I do NOT recomend!
posted by Redhush at 7:05 PM on March 3, 2011


EcoDent Tooth Powder is a baking soda equivalent that tastes quite good. I recall reading some convincing evidence re the superiority of tooth powders vs the usual brand name pastes, but damn if I can remember the specifics.

I substitute almost all my sugar with xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that kills plaque bacteria (among other benefits).

Also I use Recaldent, which you can get in chewing gum or mousse forms. Apparently it reverses tooth decay via remineralisation.

More the topic of remineralisation...

Whole Health Source: Dental Health articles
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:06 PM on March 3, 2011


plaque disclosing drops or tablets, like pediatric dentists use. Great for finding out what spots I'm missing.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:56 PM on March 3, 2011


I like Crest Pro Health Complete Rinse - my teeth squeak after I use it, they're so clean. Seriously, the feeling of enamel-squeaking-on-enamel is unreal, no fuzz or film... you don't even know there's fuzz or film until it's just suddenly gone.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:58 PM on March 3, 2011


OK, this is a slightly different sort of answer, but: water. And I don't mean instead of flossing and toothpaste, but I mean after drinking any sugary beverages or eating sugary foods. Don't let that stuff sit on your teeth throughout the day. For a couple years I was getting 1-2 cavities between dentist visits, but since I consciously started doing this I haven't gotten any.
posted by wondermouse at 8:02 PM on March 3, 2011


Did I miss it or has no one mentioned Doctor's BrushPicks? The brush end is like a little tiny toothbrush for between your teeth.
posted by dogmom at 8:30 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Toothbrushes with cheek cleaners (e.g. Colgate 360) feel awesome. Like, you have no idea.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:12 PM on March 3, 2011


I absolutely love my Oral-B toothbrush. The Sonicare is nice, but I prefer the shape of the brush head on the Oral-B. Also, I can't live without my Colgate Total toothpaste. My mouth feels so clean, for hours after using it!
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 9:16 PM on March 3, 2011


I love Glide *tape* -- it's thicker than regular floss and is just awesome. I don't always see it in stores, but it is available on drugstore.com.

I also want to second a tongue scraper -- definitely go for the metal kind. They're great.

And nthing Tom's toothpaste. I enjoy their wintermint flavor.

I'm the kind of person who carries a toothbrush and toothpaste in her purse so I can brush immediately after meals. It makes a huge difference. I love the feeling of clean teeth! Happy dental hygiene!
posted by hansbrough at 9:37 PM on March 3, 2011


Another advantage of the Sonicare: it can be angled slightly so that the bristles project about a millimeter under the gums to guard against the buildup of calculus at the gumline. I'd neglected to do this, and my dentist set me right.
posted by Gordion Knott at 3:24 AM on March 4, 2011


If you have sensitive teeth, Sensodyne toothpaste really, really helps. You don't notice it right away. It slowly starts working after a week or so of use. In fact, it's so gradual that you just stop noticing that your teeth hurt and sort of forget that you ever had this problem. This has caused me a couple of times to start using another toothpaste until my teeth start hurting again. I'm solidly on Sensodyne now, even though it costs more than other toothpastes.
posted by marsha56 at 7:43 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use a Waterpik instead of flossing. YMMV and all that but my dentist has stopped complaining about my inadequate flossing since I got started using it.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 7:54 AM on March 4, 2011


nthing: Crest Glide floss in the silver container makes flossing a pleasure.
posted by aka burlap at 8:50 AM on March 4, 2011


Prevention no-alcohol mouthwash (green bottle) since it doesn't completely dry out my mouth. For floss: Radius natural cranberry floss (found it in a health food co-op), and a handled floss holder (bought online, don't remember where) -- it looks like a Y and you wrap the floss around the end prong things. As a bonus, you really only need like 4" of floss at a time rather than a long string that you're wrapping around your fingers. I always hated cutting off the circulation in my fingertips and now I will happily actually floss more.

And I like Marvis's Ginger Mint toothpaste, like the other Marvis recommendations above!

Some large company (edit: the brand name listed is DenTek) sells dental picks and battery-lighted dental mirrors, basically plastic-handled versions of what the dental hygienist uses.
posted by oldtimey at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2011


DENTISTS HATE GLIDE! It's so slippery that it doesn't do nearly as good a job removing plaque.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:54 PM on March 4, 2011


Oooh, let me wax poetic ...

- I love my Sonicare toothbrush. I got mine five years ago as a birthday present (I couldn't make myself spend that much on a toothbrush) and I still love it! I spent at least a month after first using it running my tongue over my teeth in amazement.

- Dr Tung's Smart Floss - it takes a little getting used to, but when you've got the hang of it, it's amazing. It's almost like flossing with yarn - if you don't keep some tension on the strand as you're flossing, it tends to snag on sharp edges. When you've mastered keeping some tension, the "multi strand" aspect of the floss is amazing at hitting every facet of your tooth.

I originally could only find this on Amazon.com, but have seen it in the wild at Whole Foods and more recently at a larger retailer. It comes in a round container. I've called it a floss for floss enthusiasts.
posted by orchidarea at 12:04 PM on March 6, 2011


I love Reach Gentle Gum Care floss. It's woven so it's a little fluffy, and really cleans. It's a little hard to find but I definitely recommend it. Glide is too thin and slippery. I hate it!
posted by apricot at 6:52 AM on March 8, 2011


Total Parodontax toothpaste fan (I get mine at Smallflower). It's amazingly effective for receding gum issues.

Recently I discovered some amazing stuff that recalcifies teeth. MI paste.

After radiation treatment for thyroid cancer I use this stuff to prevent cavities. Excellently effective SF 5000 Plus

Nothing beats a SoFresh Flossing toothbrush for manual brushing. Review. A variety of this type of toothbrush is available at the Korean Supermarket Han Ah Reum under the brand name Clio (drclio.com).
posted by nickyskye at 10:35 AM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I recently discovered the Tom's of Maine cinnamon flavor, and love it! Do you like eating Hot Tamales candies? Then you too may love this toothpaste.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2011


Sometimes I want my teeth to feel like I've nuked them clean...Listerine toothpaste. Doesn't leave that too sweet aftertaste.
posted by Bexlemon at 4:57 PM on March 11, 2011


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