7 Underappreciated Oral Care Products for the SLP Oral Care Arsenal

Looking for some fresh oral care products, particularly for patients who have tried everything and are looking for new recommendations to improve dry mouth, mouth sores, or prevent aspiration pneumonia? These products are not what you might typically find in a nursing supply closet and may offer alternative solutions.

This is not medical advice.

#1: Steripod Clip-on Toothbrush Protector
These toothbrush protectors can be opened with one hand and protect patients’ toothbrushes from the many bacteria floating around in hospital bathrooms. It includes a sanitizing agent that is a thymol compound made from thyme extract, which has antiseptic properties. They are a good alternative to basic plastic cases, which can end up being further moist and enclosed breeding grounds for bacteria.

#2: Jason Powersmile Toothpaste, Papaya Enzyme Gel

Papaya enzyme is known to help thin the thick oral secretions associated with dry mouth, especially for patients who are NPO. This natural toothpaste contains papaya and pineapple enzymes, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. It can be a gentle and effective way to clean the mouths of people who are NPO and also help with thick secretions that build up in the oral cavity.


  • Pleszczyńska, M., Wiater, A., Bachanek, T., & Szczodrak, J. (2016). Enzymes in therapy of biofilm-related oral diseases. Biotechnology And Applied Biochemistry, 64(3), 337-346. doi: 10.1002/bab.1490
  • Effects of Papaya Enzymes in Patients with Dry Mouth (Acta Scientific Pharmaceutical Sciences (ISSN: 2581-5423) Volume 2 Issue 12 December 2018)
  • Rangaraju, V., Mousin, S., Babu, H., & Dasappa, S. (2019). Efficacy of Carica papaya seed extract on periodontitis: A clinico-microbiological study. International Journal Of Oral Care And Research, 7(2), 35. doi: 10.4103/injo.injo_28_19

#3: Oxyfresh – Pro Relief Dental Gel with Oxygene

Oxyfresh’s ingredients include aloe vera, chamomile, essential oils, and folic acid. This is not a toothpaste, but rather a gel that can be placed on the gums to promote healing by neutralizing the bacteria and providing hydration. Typically, most people use it after oral surgery to help with pain relief in the gums. It can also be used for people with chronic periodontal disease to help keep gums healthy and limit open sores that allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

#4: CariFree CTx2 Spray

This spray is fluoride-free, alcohol-free, and can be used as a saliva substitute for dry mouth. It works by neutralizing acidic saliva. This would be appropriate for people who are at high risk for GERD and related swallowing problems. It is also recommended for people with medication-induced xerostomia or patients who have undergone head and neck cancer radiation.

#5: Biotene Gentle Mint Moisturizing Mouth Spray

Probably the #1 go-to of many SLPs, this mouth spray is alcohol free and sugar free. It can be paired with Biotine mouthwash, toothpaste, and oral gel. It is the most popular product recommended by dentists to help with dry mouth- from medications, radiation treatment, CPAP use, NPO status, etc. Some patients will respond better to the different variations (paste, gel, wash).

#6: VITA MYR SPO Zinc Plus Herbal Mouthwash

The ingredients in this natural mouthwash include: Zinc, folic acid, clove, myrrh oil, and distilled water. There is no fluoride, alcohol, triclosan, sugar, saccharin, or aspartame. Zinc has been shown to reduce dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath. If your patients are looking for a more gentle, natural approach without the sting and dry-mouth effect of alcohol, try their line of zinc-based oral care products, including this rinse, as well as toothpaste.

#7: Floss Picks

Flossing remains one of the best defenses against gum disease and plaque buildup. Floss can also be used to clean the tongue. Floss picks allow patients with unilateral paresis to independently floss their teeth and gums.

Oral Care Resources from Therapy Insights