Here's What Your Dental Hygienist Wants You To Put On Your Holiday Wishlist

by Julia Guerra

Now that Thanksgiving leftovers have been gobbled up, gift-giving — and receiving — season can commence. But here’s the thing about grown-up holiday wishlists: You end up jotting down things you need rather than things you want, since adulting means being able to buy whatever you want, whenever you want it. So, instead of impatiently waiting an entire 365 days to see if the big guy in the red suit checked everything off your wishlist, you can just treat yourself year-round. But the items you add to the list can be both interesting and innovative, like dental health stocking stuffers that look kind of cool sitting on your bathroom shelf and improve your oral hygiene. After all, you’d eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away, right? Why not approach 2019 with the same attitude toward your dentist?

2018 was a bit much, to say the least, especially when it came to some pretty shocking revelations about dental hygiene. To refresh your memory, back in February, oral care start-up company, Hello Products, found that a whopping 30 percent of 2,000 survey participants only brush their teeth once a day. And the worst part is, the people who were surveyed were millennials. Way to represent the generation, guys.

Now, for the record, I am in no position to point fingers. Have there been days when I forgot, or was just too lazy to brush my teeth twice? Sure. Could I be flossing more often than I already do? Absolutely. Unless your dental hygiene is spot-on, though, I think it’s safe to say we could all benefit from approaching oral health the same way you would your skin routine, or even exercise. Consider 2019 a redemption year for your pearly whites by adding a few of these dental health stocking stuffers to your wishlist.

Tooth powder Is Becoming More Popular

Dirty mouth? Clean it up with Primal Life's clay-based tooth powder. Granted, I know the mental image of dragging dry minerals across your teeth and gums kind of sounds like an activity only The Grinch would enjoy, but Trina Felber, RN, BSN, MSN, CEO of Primal Life Organics, says using a tooth powder to restore your mouth's natural state is something everyone should focus on in 2019.

"Not only will the clay re-establish your oral biome, but it will help thicken the enamel and make the teeth more cavity-resistant," Felber tells Elite Daily over email. "A thicker enamel will also appear more white in color — the thinner the enamel, the more the dentin (layer beneath the enamel, yellow or blue in color) will show through and make the teeth appear less white."

A Whitening System Without Too Many Bells And Whistles

At-home teeth whiteners can be so confusing. They also typically come with a ton of parts, like trays, and clunky lights, and it's just a mess all over your bathroom counter. Save yourself the headache, and add one of Luster Premium White's packages to your wishlist.

"Teeth whitening is the holiday gift that keeps on giving throughout the year with whiter smiles and greater confidence," Martin Floreani, president and CEO of Luster Premium White, tells Elite Daily over email. The system itself is the most advanced on the market, as it features a combination of Xenon lights and dental grade peroxide "to whiten faster and [more] gently," says Floreani. Plus, no strips or trays means less mess to clean up post-treatment.

An Electric Toothbrush For Power Brushing

It took me a while to get onboard with electric toothbrushes, but my husband swears by them, and apparently, so do experts in the space. According to Dr. Susan Maples, DDS, power brushing is a much more efficient way to clean your teeth and mouth than traditional brushing, thanks to the slow, methodical movements, and the fact that the electric brush actually hugs the gum line, says Maples, as opposed to the quick, back-and-forth motion you'd normally use with a regular toothbrush.

Charcoal Toothpaste Is Still A Hit

I started experimenting with charcoal toothpaste back in 2015, and the first time I squeezed the formula out of its tube, my eyes went wide at the stark black color. I thought, who would want to put this in their mouth?! Apparently, a lot of people.

"One of the biggest trends [of 2018] was a massive shift toward more natural methods for oral care, especially in the teeth whitening arena," says Dr. Lawrence Fung, DDS, cosmetic dentist at Silicon Beach Dental — specifically, he adds, things like charcoal toothpaste and charcoal mouthwash. "I use and recommend the Hello Activated Charcoal Toothpaste and Charcoal-Bristled BPA-Free Toothbrush," he tells Elite Daily, "and hope to see that the use of natural oral care products continue to rise into 2019."

Solid to Liquid Tablets That'll Leave You Minty Fresh

Despite the latest dental hygiene fads and "tricks" to improve oral health, Dr. Joe Dill, DDS, MBA, vice president of dental science and network strategy at the Delta Dental Plans Association, says the standard recommendation to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly should suffice if you're looking to put in the bare minimum effort. However, he tells Elite Daily, a good mouthwash can "reduce the bacteria in the mouth that can cause tooth decay and gum disease."

Enter Listerine: The brand that not only sells bottles of mouthwash, but that now offers dissolvable tablets that give you that minty fresh feeling on-the-go, as well. One pack of Listerine Ready! Tabs boasts eight solid tablets that turn into liquid once you chew them (which, yes, you can safely swallow), so you might want to ask for a few in your stocking to ensure you're well-stocked throughout the winter months.

A Traditional Tube Of Toothpaste

You really can't go wrong with sticking to the basics when it comes to dental health, so don't feel silly jotting down one or two tubes of toothpaste as a stocking stuffer this year. But while traditional whitening formulas are great, registered dietitian and celebrity nutritionist, Keri Glassman, MS, RDN, suggests looking into Arm & Hammer's tubes.

One of the main issues when it comes to dental hygiene is that, every day, your mouth goes through hundreds of “acid attacks,” due to eating and drinking that can weaken tooth enamel, Glassman tells Elite Daily. The acid-neutralizing power of baking soda, aka an ingredient found in Arm & Hammer toothpastes, can help combat this. "Baking soda helps neutralize acids, while gently cleaning and removing plaque," Glassman explains, "so your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong."

And while you're on the toothpaste train, if you're looking for a tube that really speaks to the holiday season, give Toms Of Maine's Cinnamon Clove toothpaste a try, too. Because nothing says meet me under the mistletoe quite like holiday-flavored breath, right?