Holistic dentistry: What to know about natural dental home-care products


Oral health professionals (OHPs) are well-versed in educating patients about how to care for their dentition at home. With education and experience, OHPs can choose their favorite product to recommend, often recognizing a toothbrush, dentifrice, and floss are only the bare minimum when it comes to the oral hygiene aids patients may need to keep their oral cavity pristine. It may be prudent to spend several minutes throughout the dental appointment discussing what the patient currently uses to clean their mouth at home, and then make recommendations on where improvement is needed.

Certain oral hygiene aids are scientifically proven to be more effective than others. As dedicated health-care providers, it is the duty of OHPs to help make evidence-based recommendations to patients. Yet, despite years of science dictating recommendations of evidenced-based oral hygiene products, the decision ultimately lies with the consumer.

What is natural dentistry?

天然牙科被定义为只使用自然界中发现的或尽可能接近自然状态的成分和材料来治疗牙齿和整个身体的牙科。自然牙科还有其他名称,包括整体牙科、替代牙科、非常规牙科、生物相容牙科、清洁牙科、渐进牙科和综合牙科。 自然牙科虽然受到一些人的欢迎,但目前尚未成为美国牙科学会认可的专业。

While there is debate about the benefits of natural dentistry, there is more research showing that natural dental products are becoming increasingly popular, especially at home. A 2018 study showed that 64% of consumers would choose a natural or clean personal home-care product. Because of this trend, it is estimated that the global market for natural home-care products will be $50.46 billion by 2027.6 OHPs should recognize that despite varying opinions on the efficacy of natural dental products, patients may be choosing to live a more natural lifestyle, and thus could benefit from their guidance on which products to purchase.

Why are patients looking for in natural dental products?

Natural dental at-home products are products that have natural ingredients and/or eco-friendly packaging.2 Some patients may choose a product with more natural ingredients for health and wellness preferences. Others may be hoping for eco-friendly products to help reduce waste and be kinder to the planet. Whatever the reason, patients have the right to use the oral hygiene aids they feel are appropriate. We should always be respectful of our patients’ decisions.

What are natural dental products made of?

Science has shown that natural dental products can be effective at disrupting dental biofilm and promoting oral health. Several studies have investigated whether specific naturally occurring ingredients benefit the oral cavity. Tea tree oil, coconut, xylitol, aloe vera, baking soda, oil of clove, chewing sticks, and hydroxyapatite have all been shown to disrupt bacteria or promote remineralization.2,7-16 More specifically, some of the naturally occurring ingredients attack cariogenic bacteria while others disrupt the plaque biofilm to increase saliva production and thus reduce halitosis.


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