Module 2: Choosing the Best Oral Care Products
Many people think toothpaste is “toothpaste” so why not pick the one on sale? I believe it matters which one you use, and the wrong toothpaste can lead you in the wrong direction, or offer no benefit at all. Today we have an overwhelming selection and, believe it or not, there is little evaluation of consumer oral care products, and many are classified in the unregulated arena of “cosmetics”. The American Dental and Hygiene Associations are heavily funded by oral care companies, which are billion dollar industries with advertising power and political clout.
Tricks Of The Trade
This leaves consumers to sift through marketing messages in the stores and these companies deliver similar messaging to dental professionals, even at dental school. Worse yet, these companies ship samples to dental offices to be offered as a “gift” at the end of dental visits. Rarely does your dentist evaluate the samples, yet most patients assume it is their dentist’s recommendation. Besides these tricks, watch out for:
- Confusing branding (for example, Toms of Maine is a subdivision of Colgate).
- Misinformation, and the addition of ingredients that make a product sound good (a fleck of xylitol is added to create a “xylitol” toothpaste).
- Aggressive advertising, which is not based on facts or science (the promotion of the idea that teeth are white).
- Products with ingredients (like glycerin or baking soda) that can have a negative effect on oral health.
- Tatar control and whitening toothpastes ( which may be abrasive and scratch enamel) which can leave teeth rough and more easily stained.
So Which Paste Should You Use?
I have studied consumer oral care products for decades and it is confusing to navigate the label changes and new products that launch each year. Any consumer who owns good toothpaste should feel as lucky as a lottery winner! The best selling toothpastes these days were obviously designed to attract you in your search to relieve annoying tooth and gum problems. These companies know they cannot address the underlying problem, but they offer (mostly at eye-level) plenty of “Band- Aid Toothpastes” for whitening, sensitivity, and plaque control. No one seems concerned that these pastes often create more mouth problems and consumers can become addicted to sensitivity-toothpaste and experience a never-ending cycle of pain and dry mouth discomfort.
My Search For Good Products
As a young dentist I discovered that the kind of toothpaste you use to brush your teeth makes a difference. In my office I interrogated every patient about the home care products they used and then I evaluated their teeth – making note of what worked and the products that didn’t. In the evenings I studied the work of European researchers to search for the apparent scientific secrets of how to prevent cavities. Eventually I discovered that certain products were effective. Next I put my patients with bad teeth on products used by my patients with good teeth. After a few minor method adjustments, my Complete Mouth Care System was born! This system employs simple over-the-counter products that are widely available in many countries. The products are used in a specific sequence, so they work synergistically – each one enhancing the benefits of the others.
The outcome has been that for almost forty years, thousands of patients have witnessed cavities and gum disease stop and reverse, often reducing or eliminating the need for dental treatments. The stories and science of this system, and my life as a dentist in the U.K. Switzerland and the United States is told in books I have written. I recommend your read my most recent book - Mouth Care Comes Clean – first. This book offers recent studies and explains why a healthy mouth ecosystem is so valuable and should not be damaged by wrong toothpaste or mouth rinse choices. Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye focuses on the story of how I discovered the products of my Complete Mouth Care System and why they work.
My Complete Mouth Care System
If you use my Complete Mouth Care System you should notice improvements and your dental treatments should become more restricted. If you want to experiment on your own, it is wise to learn about toothpaste ingredients and know what can help and what to avoid. As you use a new product – ensure that it is effective – otherwise make a change! Know that it is possible to use oral care products that can help you to heal sensitive teeth, stop bad breath, and reverse cavities and gum disease. So always ensure that the toothpaste and oral care products you use are working to help, and never to harm you!
Below is a booklet to help you follow all the steps in my Complete Mouth Care System!