Does anyone else remember feeling white-hot terror leading up to your childhood teeth cleanings? If you were anything like me, you spent those final hours flossing until your teeth bled, brushing way too hard and swishing mouthwash as if your life depended on it. For many of us, oral health still feels more like a chore than a sacred self-care ritual. That's why patient-first dental company Tend is on a mission to marry oral health and self care—both in and out of the dentist's office.
Tend just launched its "kinder" answer to mouth wash: an alcohol-free Mouth Tonic ($28). After observing that alcohol-based washes were leading their patients to experience advanced wear and tear (yikes), Tend set out to create a minty-yet-mellow, hardworking formula designed by dentists and hygienists. By swapping alcohol for xylitol or birch sugar—an ingredient found to fight tooth decay and gum disease, as well as banish the bacteria that cause bad breath—Tend has created a first-of-its-kind formula that leaves your mouth feeling fresh... but not bleached.
There's another twist: Rather than sending out its category-breaking formula in an endless parade of plastic bottles, Tend is determined to soften its environmental footprint with perfume-shaped mouth tonic bottles that look stunning on your countertop and won't wind up in a landfill. When you order your tonic, you'll find one of these gorgeous glass decanters along with a tiny bottle of concentrate. Simply pour the little bottle into the big bottle, add water, and shake. Just swish for 30 seconds and—bada-bing!—you've got a clean mouth, fresh breath, and peace of mind. And when you're ready for a refill, simply purchase a concentrated refill ($8). That's all folks.
While the mouthwash is truly one-of-a-kind, the best part about Tend, perhaps, is its holistic approach to dental health. According to current medical research, dental anxiety affects 36 percent of the population, with an additional 12 percent presenting "extreme" dental fear. Clearly, we all need a way to feel more confident in our dental routine as a whole, so that when we walk into the dentist's office, we do so with at least a modicum of confidence. Tend now offers a complete system to help you do just that. The company also just launched an Anticavity Toothpaste ($12) to round out an entire oral care routine primed with floss picks, tongue scrapers, electric toothbrushes, and more. Taken together, Tend's line feels like an invitation to see your dental routine in the same light as, say, your skin-care or makeup routine. That is, as a moment each day that's just for you.
After a week or so of using my own squad of Tend products, I notice something extraordinary: I'm, gasp, looking forward to brushing my teeth. After some tongue scraping and a gentle clean-up with the brand's Soothsonic toothbrush, I guzzle a little mouthwash and pace around my bathroom. The flavor is minty, but not overwhelmingly so. It's more like a Peppermint Patty than a wintergreen mint. Now, I have a new routine. The mouth tonic is so refreshing that I decide to swish it mid-afternoon when my brain is in full-on rebellion mode and I still have a few hours of work in front of me. It feels like a small moment for me. And, I have to say: With an oral hygiene lineup like this one, I'm not quite as apprehensive about my 6-month dental cleaning.
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