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In the grand scheme of grooming, taking care of your teeth isn’t the sexiest. But you know what’s even less sexy? A messed up grill. Dental hygiene may fall by the wayside in your grooming regimen in favor of skincare or styling your hair, but it’s just as important, if not more so. Everyone wants whiter teeth, of course, but skipping mouth care can lead to other, worse issues like bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease and more. You can have the most perfect skin and flyest hair on the planet, but if your teeth are falling out, that’s all you’re going to see.
If you’ve been to the dentist before (we sure hope you’re going the recommended twice a year), then you already have a pretty good idea of what good dental hygiene is like. It’s brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing after you brush. Mouthwash, whitening, and all the other accoutrements are icing on the cake, but if you’re not doing the basics, that stuff doesn’t matter.
As for what you use, dentists usually recommend electric toothbrushes over manual ones because they have superior cleaning power—though truthfully, whatever toothbrush you use is better than no toothbrush at all. If you have sensitive gums, a water flosser could be a good substitute for traditional floss, but be aware that it might not be as thorough. Once again, something is always better than nothing. And in terms of toothpastes, the American Dental Association always recommends using one with fluoride, the best tool we have to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities, but you may see more versions out there without the ingredient (fluoride has gotten a bad rep in some circles in recent years). Look for toothpastes that target specific problems you might have, like sensitivity or whitening, and go from there.
If your head is spinning from all this, don’t worry. The world of dental hygiene isn’t so overwhelming if you know where to start and luckily, you have this list of the best products out there. Now, go forth and brush!
Read more: Best Grooming Products for Men
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Best Electric Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Electric Toothbrush
$299.95 (14% off)
Upgrading to an electric toothbrush is like spending your life on a bicycle and then one day hopping on a Ducati. This electric brush is the gold standard—62,000 brush movements per minute combined with sonic technology leave your teeth with a clean that your manual brush could never hope to replicate. Even better, this brush automatically adjusts pressure based on how hard you press it and learns your unique brushing style over time to give you a better clean.
Read more: Best Electric Toothbrushes for Men
Best Manual Toothbrush
vVardis Reinholz Soft Toothbrush
This Men’s Health Grooming Award-winning brush is made from sustainable wood—way more eco-friendly than your usual plastic. It’s lightweight, easy to maneuver into the far reaches of your mouth, and the soft bristles are gentle on your gums. Who said you can’t get as clean with a plant-friendly option?
Best Natural Toothpaste
Tom’s Of Maine Whole Mouth Natural Toothpaste with Fluoride
Not all natural toothpastes contain dentist-recommended fluoride, but this one does. That fluoride is what helps this paste strengthen enamel and fight cavities. There’s also silica to help scrub away stains and a fresh minty flavor that leaves your mouth feeling as fresh as the toothpaste you’re used to. After all that, it still comes in an eco-friendly recyclable tube.
Read more: How to Spend Less Time at the Dentist
Best Whitening Toothpaste
Colgate Optic White Renewal Enamel Strength Whitening Toothpaste
Some whitening toothpastes rely on abrasion to strip away stains (think of them as a face scrub, but for your teeth). The downside is that sometimes you can brush too much with those and also damage the all-important enamel. This paste contains 3% hydrogen peroxide—the highest concentration out there—for whitening power and fluoride to help bolster enamel and fight cavities. It’s a win-win.
Burst Refillable Floss
We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t always remember to floss—unless, of course, it’s with this innovative version. The fibers expand when they come in contact with saliva, which means the floss strands glide between your teeth easily and take more gunk out with them. The charcoal coating helps absorb stains and dirt (so much you can actually see it on the floss if you want to gross yourself out). The refillable packaging is just icing on the cake.
Read more: How Long to Wait After Eating to Brush Your Teeth
Best Water Flosser
Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
Is a water flosser absolutely necessary? Probably not. But can a water flosser make your mouth feel like you just went to the dentist every day? Absolutely. We stan water flossers because you can’t argue with how fresh they make your mouth feel—and if you’re the kind of person who finds flossing too hard or, worse, painful, a water flosser can be a much gentler way to clean between your teeth. This version even has a “sensitive” setting that is easier on your gums and teeth, particularly if you have sensitivity issues.
Hello Naturally Healthy Anti Gingivitis Mouthwash
There’s no alcohol in this minty mouthwash that will leave your mouth feeling dry and weird after using it. Instead, there’s aloe vera and coconut oil that help hydrate your tongue and gums to avoid that cottonmouth feeling.
Apa Beauty Apa Pink Gum Gel
Anyone with gum issues knows that they are the worst. Sensitivity, pain and even bleeding are the worst of it, but puffy or receding gums are no walk in the park either. Slather on this vitamin E-rich gel to help strengthen gums and curb these issues. The peppermint oil in the formula also works double duty—it helps kill bacteria to prevent infection and freshens your breath.
Best Whitening Device
Snow Teeth Whitening Kit
$119.96 (20% off)
We all want whiter teeth, but whitening at home can be intimidating and getting a professional treatment can be expensive. This system is the best of both worlds. It seems elaborate, but is easy in practice. Use the pen to paint the whitening solution directly onto your teeth. Then plug the LED mouthpiece into your phone and leave it in for around 9 minutes. The combination of whitening gel and LED light help get your teeth whiter, faster (and is even gentle enough for sensitive teeth).
Best Whitening Product For Detailing
Crest Whitening Emulsions Leave-On Teeth Whitening Kit
Use the spatula-like tool to brush the peroxide whitening gel onto one tooth or your whole grill depending on where you’re trying to whiten. It creates a thin film that goes to work lightening stains immediately. There’s no need to rinse—just avoid drinking anything for a bit. It’s perfect for your dopp kit or anyone who wants to whiten specific areas.
Best Mouthwash Tablets
byHumankind Mouthwash Tablets
Carry these ingenious tablets in your bag or keep them in your desk drawer for a quick freshen up wherever you are. Dissolve a tablet in a cup of water to turn it into just the right amount of mouthwash to gurgle before the staff meeting or swish before a date.
Best Budget Electric Toothbrush
Philips One by Sonicare
Upgrading to an electric toothbrush is great news for your teeth, but not always for your wallet. This rechargeable toothbrush, however, won’t break the bank. It looks and feels more like a manual toothbrush, but the powerful motor creates micro vibrations that clean way more effectively. The automatic timer shuts off after two minutes so you know exactly how long you need to brush. Plus, the included cover makes this the perfect travel brush.
Read more: Best Tech Gadgets for Men
Best Portable Toothpaste
C.O by Colgate On The Go Anticavity Toothpaste Tabs
Not only is using a toothpaste tablet more eco-friendly (no tubes to throw out), it’s also way more convenient. Crush one of these tablets between your teeth to turn it into foaming toothpaste, then use your brush as you usually would. The clean is so good you won’t be able to tell the difference and you don’t have to worry about your tube getting thrown at by TSA.
Best Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth
Sensodyne Rapid Relief Toothpaste
Sensitivity issues, whether from your teeth or gums, can be a huge roadblock to proper dental hygiene—if it doesn’t feel good to brush your teeth, you’re not going to do it, right? This toothpaste attacks sensitivity from all sorts of causes like hot, cold, sweet foods and more and relieves pain quickly.
Best Fancy Toothpaste
Marvis Cinnamon Mint Toothpaste
Who says toothpaste always has to be heavy on the mint? This Italian-made paste tastes like a cinnamon candy with just a hint of mint (to remind you that it’s toothpaste, after all). It still cleans your teeth and protects your gums as well as the other guys. Be aware that it doesn’t contain fluoride, but if that’s cool with you, then brush away.
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