Dr. Matson’s Favorite Things

Sep 15, 2023 | Blog

Move over Oprah, it’s our turn. Yesterday after work, I happened to venture to Costco and was shocked to find that lit up Christmas trees, toys and holiday decorations are already on display.  It is the middle of September and the holiday push has already started.  In the “spirit” of the early holiday commercialism, I have decided to make a list of products that we like at Destination Pediatric Dentistry to help your child at home with their oral hygiene.  I have no financial interest in any of these companies, nor do we receive any sponsorship from their promotion.  Without further ado, here are some dental hygiene products that we recommend here at Destination Pediatric Dentistry!

Hygiene products we love


Photo by William Warby on Unsplash


For children over the age of 6 months, we recommend any children’s toothpaste with Fluoride as the active ingredient.  Beyond that, the main thing to consider is personal preference of the flavor for your child.  Many brands have different, kid-centric flavors like grape, watermelon, vanilla, strawberry, bubblegum, etc. So it really boils down to what your kids like.  My children do NOT like the grape flavor toothpaste, but have been pleased over time with either bubblegum or strawberry.  The actual toothpaste we are currently using in our household is the HEB kids strawberry fluoride toothpaste.


For children who have a hard time with flavors and textures, there is a brand called Oranurse that gets great reviews for their flavorless toothpaste.

For sensitive teeth or those with an SLS sensitivity

For anyone who suffers from chronic canker sores in their mouth, we always recommend to switch over to an SLS (Sodium-Lauryl-Sulfate) free toothpaste.  Often times, people may have a sensitivity to the foaming agent in toothpastes (SLS) and simply switching the toothpaste they use can alleviate the chronic ulcers.  Sensodyne has a number of SLS free options.


Photo by Marcos Ramírez on Unsplash

A question we are frequently asked is whether a parent should switch over to using an electric toothbrush with their child.  Electric toothbrushes have many advantages that I like as a dentist.  The two biggest advantages that I see are the efficiency of breaking up plaque and cleaning your teeth compared to a manual toothbrush and the built in timer that most electric toothbrushes possess.  Some electric toothbrushes also contain bells and whistles that may make brushing a more entertaining time for your child with apps that can link to the toothbrush itself, or songs that play during brushing time.  My advice to parents is to always purchase a cheap version of an electric toothbrush before investing in anything expensive because, just like with toothpastes, children can have some very strong opinions about the things that are going in their mouth and the vibrating sensation is not for every child.  If you are considering buying an electric toothbrush, maybe consider one of these that I have ordered from Amazon in the past for my own kids.  After using those for a while, my children have now graduated on to these electric toothbrushes from Sonicare.

No matter what you choose, electric or manual, make sure that the head size of the toothbrush is appropriate for the size of your child.  Also, choose a soft or extra-soft bristle.  Medium and firm are too abrasive for people’s teeth and gums.

Note: Until more research comes out about their efficacy, I do not recommend any of the “auto-brush” type brushes.  Please read our first blog post about brushing teeth to see how you can help your child do the best possible job with a manual or electric toothbrush


Photo by Mishaal Zahed on Unsplash

I don’t generally push mouthwashes too frequently for patients.  If you want the added cavity protection of Fluoride topically sitting on your teeth, then simply don’t rinse your mouth after brushing.  For those people who like the rinse as part of their routine, then we will frequently recommend ACT mouthwash for it’s anti-cavity properties. 


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

There are many different options available out there, but we generally recommend floss picks for parents as they are easier to use in small mouths.  Wrapping floss around your fingers and trying to reach the back teeth can be a real nightmare, so using a floss pick with a helpful handle is great.  We’ve used these before in my household, but if you’d prefer a more environmentally conscious product, these can be purchased on Amazon.

Water flossers

We don’t generally recommend water-flossers for use in-lieu of regular floss as the water jet has been shown to be inadequate at accessing and breaking up interproximal plaque that can cause cavities between teeth.  HOWEVER, if a child is adamant about not flossing but expresses interest in using a water floss like device routinely, then I would prefer them use that over nothing at all.  Also, we do recommend water flossers for children who are in active braces as it is useful for flushing around brackets and wires when it can be extremely difficult to floss after every meal.  Here is a great product for those instances.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this is helpful for many of you out there that can get overwhelmed and confused on what you should be using with your child.  There are so many hygiene products and brands out there that it can certainly be an information overload when choosing the best thing for your child.  By no means is this an exhaustive list, but hopefully you can use the aforementioned rationale and suggestions to help you choose the best hygiene products for your family.  If you should need any help with finding the best products that work for your child, please feel free to contact us.  We’re always here to help!

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