As a child, I traveled a great deal with my parents, mostly to Europe, the Caribbean and Middle East. Whenever we arrived at our destination, the first thing my mother would do was take my brother and I to the local pharmacy (or pharmacie). Whether we were in Tel Aviv, Paris, St. Barths, Berlin or Florence, somehow my mother always knew which pharmacy was the best. These outings felt like an adventure: The pharmacies overseas were different from those in New York City. They were fancy and old world and I loved them.
It Was All About the Toothpaste
I was always fascinated by the toothpaste. Each country had different colored and shaped packaging, with writing in different languages that made them seem so much more special than tubes of Aim, Crest or Colgate. My mother would buy 5 or 6 tubes each of several different brands to take home. In fact, I don’t remember a time when we had American toothpaste in the house. I usually brushed with brands like Elgydium, Elmex, Tayadent and Inaden. (At that time you could not purchase Elgydium in the U.S.)
Banish Hairy-feeling Teeth for Good
These exotic toothpastes contain ingredients that have successfully helped me defeat that morning hairy-feeling teeth phenomenon. Not literally hairy. You know the feeling – you wake up with your teeth feeling coated in gunk yet after you brush they don’t feel all that clean. They feel cleaner, but still a little hairy.
Each Toothpaste Has Its Own Specialty
Elgydium, from France, makes a whitening or Blancheur version, as well as one for sensitive teeth and gums. Elmex, from Germany, makes a sensitive formula as well but also has a special travel kit with a handy dandy put-it-together-yourself toothbrush. It is incredibly charming! Inaden hails from Greece with a uniquely minty flavor. Tayadent is an Israeli two-in-one toothpaste and mouth wash that comes in a plastic triangle-like box…in liquid form. It suds up like soap in your mouth! You have never seen anything like it. Many Israelis make fun of me for liking this toothpaste; they would rather use Colgate or Crest. But again, this is another toothpaste that banishes that not so fresh, hairy teeth feeling. If you really want to boost the efficacy of these babies and pack an extra fresh punch, use a Binchotan Toothbrush (Its infused with Binchotan Charcoal from Japan). Spray a schpritz or two of Vine’s Negative Ion Care Water on the toothbrush and squeeze some toothpaste on top. You won’t believe how clean your entire mouth will feel.
Insider Travel Toothpaste Tip
Most full size toothpaste is actually TSA travel size. Remember any product that is 3.4 fl oz or 100 ml or less is technically travel size. Most toothpaste tubes are 75 ml or less.
Everyone Wants What They Can’t Have
I guess everyone longs for exotic, hard-to-find products from overseas. The grass just always seems greener on the other side of the ocean, and if brushing with toothpaste from around the world makes me feel a little more special, well, aren’t I a lucky girl!
By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie