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Through the teeth, over the gums: Pastes, whiteners, and more


Products for adults and children line pharmacy shelves, with plenty of child-friendly options for parents teaching oral hygiene to the young.

Proper oral care, including tooth-brushing and other practices designed to reduce plaque and bacteria, is aesthetically important. Even more important, it helps prevent ailments that start in the mouth and move elsewhere throughout the body.

That’s true for both children and adults. However, getting children to practice proper oral hygiene can be challenging at times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17 years.

Amid the multitude of oral-care products for children and adults to be found on pharmacy shelves are numerous items designed to help parents teach children proper oral care.

Toothbrushes and more

Kolibree’s smart sonic toothbrush with 3D motion sensors uses games to teach young children how to brush their teeth properly. With four new games that show children where they brushed and where they missed, Kolibree’s sonic toothbrush only weighs 2.5 ounces.

• Designed especially for children with braces, Kolibree’s orthodontic brush head helps them brush more easily, safely, and gently around the brackets to help prevent post-orthodontia cavities.

“The Kolibree platform strengthens the dentist-patient relationship by allowing parents to digitally share family brushing habits with their dentist as part of a personalized approach to preventive dental care,” said Thomas Serval, Kolibree’s founder and CEO.

Soniclean Pro ONe• The Philips Sonicare for Kids is a rechargeable toothbrush equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology. Connected to a free coaching app that helps children learn proper brushing techniques, the toothbrush encourages them to brush for two minutes and allow parents to monitor progress. According to Philips, 98% of the parents whose children used Sonicare for Kids said the toothbrush made it easier for their children to brush longer and better.

Brush Buddies’ Soniclean Pro One  features sonic technology that offers 30,000 vibrations per minute. Used properly, it promises to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush would do and provide a fresh, clean feeling. Its end-rounded nylon bristles are specially designed to clean the outer layers of the teeth, while the rubberized polishing cups in the middle are made to polish teeth. (Product image courtesy of Brush Buddies)

Shopkins“The Soniclean Pro One will get your teeth whiter and help you keep them cleaner than ever before,” said Anish Patel, CEO of Brush Buddies.

• Brush Buddies also offers Shopkins, a line of character-based toothbrushes and oral care products created just for children. The product line includes powered and manual toothbrushes, travel kits, light-up brushes, singing brushes, bandages, hand sanitizers, and facial tissues. (Product image courtesy of Brush Buddies)

“Shopkins is one of the most exciting and fastest growing brands out there,” Patel said. “We’re excited to add these fun-loving characters to our portfolio of licensed products.”


Whiteners, pastes, and rinses

Paula's Choice Brighten UpOnce the exclusive domain of the dentist, numerous tooth-whitening products now line OTC shelves.

Paula’s Choice Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener  is a portable way to whiten teeth and eliminate stains from wine, berries, and coffee almost instantaneously. Recommended for travel and quick touch-ups, Paula’s is a balm-like formula designed to improve stability and block sensitivity. It can be used to maintain or prolong professional whitening results. (Product image courtesy of Paula's Choice)

Tom’s of Maine offers natural toothpaste and mouthwash products, including Clean & Gentle Toothpaste. It promises to leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh without sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Instead of SLS, its formula uses glycyrrhizin (derived from licorice root). It also contains naturally sourced fluoride for cavity prevention and natural flavor oils to freshen breath.

Tom's Silly Strawberry• Also from Tom’s is Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash, with zinc to neutralize odor caused by bad-breath germs. It promises to provide long-lasting fresh breath without the burn.

Tom’s Children’s Silly Strawberry Fluoride-free Toothpaste  uses calcium and silica to clean teeth.

Tom’s Silly Strawberry Anti-cavity Fluoride Toothpaste features an all-natural strawberry taste. According to Tom’s, it is the only natural children’s fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. (Product image courtesy of Tom's of Maine)

Tom's Simply White• Tom’s Simply White Toothpaste  uses naturally sourced silicas for clinically proven whitening without bleaching chemicals. Product literature states that this is the only natural whitening toothpaste to earn the ADA Seal. (Product image courtesy of Tom's of Maine)

TheraBreath Oral Rinses promise to eliminate bad breath. The mint-flavored rinse uses the oxygenating power of OXYD-8 to destroy the bacteria that cause bad breath and eliminate sour, bitter, and metallic tastes in the mouth. The oral rinses, which are available in different flavors and strength levels, also promise to help with dry mouth and tonsil stones.

ACT Anticavity Fluoride Rinse is clinically proven to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. It contains the maximum amount of fluoride available in mouthwash form without a prescription and a dosage meter to make sure the proper amount is used.

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