High-tech oral health gifts – are they worth the extra money?

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December 20th, 2016

So most of your holiday shopping is done, but you are still in search of a unique gift for the tech-savvy, health-conscious person on your list. Here’s a holiday buying guide to help you weigh the pros and cons of giving a high-tech dental product.

Electric Toothbrushes (example)

Worth it? Yes.

Several studies have shown that electric toothbrushes clean our teeth and mouths better than manual brushes do. Additionally, because most models include a two-minute timer, users are more likely to brush for the recommended two minutes. Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes include an app that you can download on your mobile device, focus on what areas of the mouth you brush, track your progress, send reminders and rewards, and sense when you brush too hard.

Should I go with Sonicare, Oral-B or another brand?

This really comes down to preference. Some Sonicare users may say that they appreciate the brush head being shaped like a traditional toothbrush, while Oral-B enthusiasts may indicate that they like how the round brush head works tooth by tooth. Others may value the cost savings of going with an “off-brand” brush.

The bottom line: Electric brushes do a better job at keeping our teeth and mouths healthy and are worth the initial and ongoing cost. Preference in style and features are personal – research options to find what works for you and your family!

Water Flossers (example) Worth it? Maybe.

Some studies show that waterflossing removes more plaque in between the teeth than traditional string floss. Although, this may be due to the fact that most people do not floss their teeth using proper flossing technique. One con with using a waterflosser is its lack of convenience. Nothing will replace the need for string floss after a steak dinner! The bottom line: We need to remove plaque from between our teeth. This can be done with traditional flossing, specialized interdental brushes/picks, or a waterflosser. Waterflossers are perfect for people that do not use string floss regularly.

Teeth Whitening Systems (example) Worth it? Maybe.

Teeth whitening/bleaching has become very popular in the last 10-20 years, but can cause a decent amount of tooth sensitivity in certain individuals. Additionally, bleach products work well for many common tooth stains – like coffee, tea and general “yellowing” of teeth – but don’t work well for other types of stains, such as staining due to excessive fluoride exposure, inherited developmental disorders, jaundice in childhood, or tetracycline stains.

The bottom line: It is best to work with a professional to determine if you are a good teeth whitening candidate. Talk to your dentist and dental hygienist about teeth whitening solutions that could work for you.