Health

The 8 Best New Oral Care Products in 2021

Finding the right dental-health product for your needs can be tough. When it comes to taking care of your teeth, there are a ton of products that clean, whiten, and kick bad breath to the curb. But unlike applying a soothing sheet mask, sometimes finding and dealing with all of the toothbrushes, toothpaste, whitening treatments, flosses, mouthwashes, and more can be a pain (and sometimes, actually painful if you have sensitive teeth).

This year, as part of our SELF Healthy Beauty Awards, we added the category of oral care for the first time. Our testers sampled all manners of brand new dental-health-care products—including mouthwashes, electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes, whitening toothpastes for stained teeth, toothpaste tablets, flosses, water flossers, at-home whitening kits, and more—using guidelines set by American Dental Association–approved (ADA) professional dentists.

That’s because we understand that finding the best dental health product can make you feel great about your smile—while still being easy enough to routinely use (and enjoy using too).

What to Look for When Buying Oral Care Products

The TL;DR from dentists regarding oral hygiene is that everyone should brush teeth twice daily and floss at least once—but we’re guessing you already knew that. All other products (mouthwashes for fresher breath, at-home whitening kits, etc.) are extra and mostly cosmetic.

Hands down, electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes, and often easier to use, as they take care of the scrubbing for you, and traditional flosses clean away bacteria and food more thoroughly than water flossers. That said, it’s still better to use a soft-bristled manual toothbrush and a water flosser than skip both altogether. (Psst: Here’s our buying guide for electric toothbrushes.)

If you have sensitive teeth and gums, keep an eye out for toothpastes and mouthwashes that include fluoride, a mineral which can strengthen teeth and combat cavities, as well as potassium nitrate, an additive you might find in whitening products, which can balance sensitivity. If you have a dry mouth, avoid alcohol and peroxide. But if you’re dealing with discoloration, mouthwashes with peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are a plus, as are whitening toothpastes that contain abrasives like silica, which polish teeth and dissolve stains. You can see the rest of our dentist-informed criteria here

Keep reading to see our top picks for the best new dental-care products that are basically guaranteed to keep your smile bright, shiny, and healthy. And go here to check out all of the best new beauty products for 2021.

Reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

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