A discerning dental hygienist shares her oral hygiene routine and more. Photo Credit: Plainsight Studios

Founder's picks: A stylish top 10 list that keeps your mouth healthy

Written By: RANDI BERGMAN

“I'm incredibly discerning with products—not just what’s on my bathroom vanity, but literally everything,” says our founder, Stephanie Nightingale.

She tells me this as she unfurls a minimalist burgundy Marge Sherwood shoulder bag across the table, revealing what’s inside to be at once aesthetically pleasing and high-function (think: Byredo Lip Balm for starters). That combo is something you’ll hear a lot around here: we love great products that also look great, which is why our first order of business is to quiz our effortless HBIC on the things that keep her routine in check while looking beautiful, whether she’s at home or on the go.

“Despite what you might think, I actually do very little,” says Steph. “Good technique is far better than frequency when it comes to caring for your teeth. Quality over quantity, always.” As such, Steph starts her day with a minimalist morning routine consisting of brushing either before coffee or one hour after to keep her enamel safe, rinsing her mouth, and tongue scraping to remove bacteria and plaque. (For the record, she’s doing it all while giving her French Farmacie Radiance Serum time to penetrate her skin. “Multitasking is the name of the game when you’ve got a five-year-old in tow!”) Evenings look the same. During the day, it's a mashup of floss and rubber tipping. “Most of the time I’ll repeat the flossing and rubber tipping a second time at night, but usually from bed while watching trashy reality,” she says.

Toothpastes

Steph brushes twice a day, ensuring she’s got pro level fluoride protection with at least one round. “For one of my daily brushes, I will always use a toothpaste with a good hit of fluoride, like Colgate Total," she says. “Knowing I'm getting that level of protection at least once a day puts me at ease and keeps me 100% cavity free,” she says. 

Her second brush of the day is a little bit more playful. “If I'm craving a good flavour, my go-to toothpaste is the Marvis Ginger Mint toothpaste. The flavour is bomb and the tiny particles really make my teeth feel clean,” she says. Another of her favourites is Ojook, which strangely enough pairs well with cocktails.

“It’s my go-to if I plan on drinking a salty spicy marg,” she says. “If you've tried this toothpaste, you'll understand what I'm talking about!”

Floss

“Let's be honest, most people have a hard-enough time flossing as it is,” says Steph. While she cautions against floss sticks since they can’t reach under the gums or wrap under teeth (essentials for removing plaque), she champions any effort to do the dirty work. She admits to only flossing 4 to 6 times a week herself." Glide by Oral-B is what works best for my teeth. I know it’s not always a fan favourite because of how slippery it is, so try a plain and simple waxed floss for easy access,” says Steph.

Rubber Tips

“Just like I can't go a morning without a (really good) coffee, I can't go a day without my stimmie,” says Steph. She uses hers to pick out food from between her teeth, remove plaque, massage gums and everything in between. “It's my anti-aging stimulating regimen, but for my mouth.” 

Tongue Scrapers

Tongue scrapers are the only products that Steph forgoes aesthetics for, so long as the efficacy is there. “Currently mine is by Breath Rx. It’s bendy, rigid and really gets the job done,” she says.

Toothbrushes

“If I was wearing my professional hat right now, I’d tell you that toothbrushes shouldn’t be based on personal preference. I wish they could be by prescription only.” she says. "Your preference might be a medium or even hard bristle toothbrush and those are just not okay.” Firmer bristles don’t make your teeth any cleaner, nor does scrubbing your teeth extra hard. They just mean you need to replace your brush sooner. “Brushing longer and more thorough is far more important than the brand and the frequency,” she says.

Steph’s preference is to alternate between an electric and manual toothbrush. For electric, she loves Phillips Sonicare for its sleekness and its efficacy. For manual toothbrushes, she loves Curaprox Ultra Soft. “I’m obsessed with the randomly selected colour arrangements, which is a bold statement since I barely own anything bright,” she says.

Mouthwash

“Marketing has tricked consumers into thinking that mouthwash has the ability to rid our mouths of all (or 99%) of plaque and tartar. It doesn’t,” says Steph. “Think of your dental cleanings when you felt the hygienist put his or her back into removing tough pieces of buildup. If it takes a sharp metal scaler and a strong forearm to get the job done, do you really think holding a green rinse in your mouth all day is going to do the same?” Steph instead sees them as therapeutic, as the antibacterial properties and the essential oils “can be really soothing for inflamed gums.” While mouthwash can’t replace flossing or using something like a rubber tip to clean between teeth, swishing with it feels just great.

“Back to my philosophy of blending both products that are backed by the professionals in addition to something that elevates my day, I’ll alternate between Listerine Zero and Eau de la Belle Haleine by Officine Universelle Buly. I give Buly a 10 out of 10 for the foam-free consistency, amazing flavour and unparalleled bottle and cap design.”

Want more expert-backed oral hygiene advice and lifestyle content? Follow us at @itsstimmie for a daily dose.

 

The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice and in-person consultation. It is provided with the understanding that STIM MIE INC. ("Stimmie") is not engaged in the provision or rendering of dental advice or services. Although monitored and written in collaboration with licensed dental professionals, the opinions and content included in these articles are general and not patient-specific. You understand and agree that Stimmie shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon, any content or information in our written materials.

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