Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

The Perfect Dopp Kit

Dental & Oral Care Contents

Floss

Readily available in pharmacies and grocery stores, you probably have your favorite already. We have been unable to identify a “green” version with the level of quality we like - our personal recommendation is for Oral B’s Original Satin brand (pack of 6) - but the world is your oyster.

While some may use toothfloss pics at home, there is a reason for using tape when traveling: it can be put to a variety of alternative short term “string” uses when in a fix. For example: replacement for a broken shoe lace; a clothes line for drying wet garments; used as cotton to repair garments or luggage like backpacks etc. This may sound weird but just wait until you’re in a similar situation! If this happens please let us know how you’ve used it – we would like to post your “fix” here on the website.



Lip Balm/Salve



Particularly important when going to cold or hot climates with sunny and/or windy conditions e.g. skiing, boating, beach vacation etc. If traveling far or for long periods you might omit this and purchase locally upon arrival.

Lip balm is readily available in pharmacies, grocery stores and many gas stations. We suggest using one with sunscreen all the time, saves buying 2 different types and remembering to take the right one with you! A great green and natural product (although does not contain a sunscreen) is Burt’s Bees Classic Beeswax Lip Balm. These can be a little more expensive than the standard but bulk buying helps.

A personal year round favorite of ours is by ChapStick, a simple classic lip balm with sunscreen (buy in bulk - we've listed packs of 3 and 24).

Many people who use lip balm often have difficulty in locating it due to its small size – it’s always in the last pocket you look in or at the bottom of the bag! To aid its easy retrieval we recommend a clip holder: either with a carabiner or (our favorite) with a retractable line and clip.

Tip: While not quite as effective, lip balm can also help stop bleeding from shaving nicks, in place of a Styptic Pencil.

Mouth Wash


If traveling far or for a long period, omit and purchase at your destination. Readily available from pharmacies and grocery stores, many even stock travel size versions, although it’s cost effective to buy  a large one and decant into a smaller container.

If you use pre-packaged kits (see below) and the 1.5 oz bottles of Scope mouthwash, then replacements are available (buy in bulk - we've listed packs of 18 and 180).

Unfortunately we have been unable to identify a natural or environmentally friendly version, with the level of quality we can enjoy. This used to be “Toms of Maine” but regret to say since being acquired by Colgate, the quality has diminished and the ingredients have strayed away from the “green” versions we liked.

Pre-Packaged Kits




For ease of convenience you could simply add a pre-packaged dental travel kit, to your Dopp Kit. These come in varying combinations, our suggested recommendations are:      

The Dr Fresh Travel Kit contains a 0.85 oz tube of Crest or Colgate toothpaste, toothbrush and toothbrush head cover - all in a Ziploc style travel pouch. You can these in varying pack sizes, up 6.

Dr Fresh has another kit, which contains a 0.85 oz tube of Crest toothpaste, travel toothbrush (dismantles to enclose in it’s own case) and a 1.5 oz bottle of Scope mouthwash. This in for pack of 6 but they have smaller pack sizes too.

Pre-packaged kits are often invaluable, especially for the time restricted and busy person. Unfortunately they tend to only cover the needs of a few days and unless you refill/replace the contents, they end up as trash to be disposed of. This can be wasteful and expensive however, see Toothpaste and Mouthwash for information on refills. Also if you have specific needs (e.g. particular brand of toothpaste) then these kits are less flexible and unlikely to meet your requirements. We suggest, the better approach is to go for a personalized, individually designed, self made kit.

Toothbrush

Available at almost every pharmacy and grocery store, there is a bewildering array of variations upon a theme. You may already use one particular brand you are comfortable, happy and familiar with, in which case carry on! We may be in a minority but, we believe the simple design of a toothbrush is perfectly suitable and there is no need to improve on the classic basic one! Check out the pack of 12 Colgate brushes for $12.

A travel toothbrush is a good solution, it gives you a brush which dismantles to enclose in it’s own protective shell. We like the by Gum in packs of 4 for $6 ($9 including shipping).

Our favored option is to use toothbrushes with replaceable heads. It’s a greener approach because the handle is not being thrown away each time and it detaches to make packing easier (just like a travel version). Try Monte Bianco’s Toothbrush with replaceable head for $2, replacement heads are also available for $2 each. Terra Dent and Smile Brite have a range of toothbrushes with replaceable heads; approximate costs are $5 for the first brush (head and handle) and a pack of 3 replacement heads for $5.

A very neat replacement head toothbrush, called the “Toob,” includes a travel case and a refillable toothpaste tube. Made by Aurelle it uses your normal everyday toothpaste and holds enough for about a week – great for less than $10 and replacement heads 3 for $4 ($10 including shipping).

An alternative to the standard basic toothbrush is the electric toothbrush. These are used by many and are usually rechargeable. You can simply pack your standard rechargeable one (don’t forget to charge it); and the charging base, if going on a trip longer than a week. One downside to this is the weight but if weight considerations are not important, carry on. One solution to the weight is to use a dedicated battery powered one for your Dopp Kit. There are a few on the market and most take several AAA batteries but there are mixed reviews: not powerful enough; completely die within 6 months to several years etc. If you wish to try this, our recommendation is the Dazzle Pro Travel Sonic Toothbrush for $15. It seems to have more power and longer durability than others half the price or even double the price. However, our overall recommendation is to use a simple manual toothbrush!

Don’t forget a toothbrush guard (if you need one) to keep the head clean whilst in transit: try Walgreens, they currently have a pack of 4 for $1. Alternatively use the StreiPod clip on guards, which kill germs on your toothbrush. Available in packs of 8 (they last 3 months).

These guards save using a larger rigid plastic holder for the entire toothbrush, however some people prefer these larger ones. They are readily available from most pharmacies and grocery stores for $1 to $3.

However, if you want to go for a bacteria free approach using Ultra Violet light, there are a few models on the market. These use several AAA batteries, tend to be full toothbrush cases so are bulky to carry and there are mixed reviews: light works intermittently, case doesn’t stay closed and doesn’t have a long life span (about a year). Although at the higher end of the price range, if you decide to try this, we recommend the VIOlight Toothbrush Sanitizer from Travel Smith for $30.





Toothpaste





If traveling far or for long periods, you may choose to omit this completely from your kit and buy a tube of toothpaste locally upon arrival.

The smallest tube size available is 0.85 oz, which is ideal for carry-on and they last for about 4-6 brushings (about 2-3 days). If you choose to use pre-packaged kits or use this size in your own prepared kit on a regular basis, it may prove worthwhile buying in bulk. Whilst not generally available in pharmacies and grocery stores these can be easily purchased online: we've chosen a case of 240 Colgate 0.85 oz tubes (a fantastic value price) and a pack of 60 Crest 0.85 oz tubes.

Toothpaste tubes tend to come in standardized sizes and the next two sizes up (after the 0.85 oz) are: 2.8 oz (good for a week) and 4.6 oz (sufficient for 2 weeks) - these estimations are based on brushing twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. These sizes can be found (some searching maybe required) in many pharmacies and grocery stores.

However, toothpaste tubes are wasteful: over 500 million are thrown away each year and are not biodegradable (or take a very long time to break down). Add to this their weight and the small annoyance of squeezing the last bit out and you’re left with the question: what else?

An alternative to carrying a tube of toothpaste is tooth powder! Dentist.net has a range of tooth powders, we like the Country Gent for $3 (enough for 400 brushings) and the Eco-Dent range priced around $6-8 (enough for 200 brushings). Tooth Powder is more economical than toothpaste, weighs less, is healthier and provides a greener approach - it may just become your standard product to use!

Another alternative are toothpaste tablets: simply chew, brush your teeth and rinse (optional). Archtek are our choice; available in a canister of 60 tablets for just over $7 but also in a box of 100, individually wrapped for $20. Either use these individually wrapped ones or the slightly cheaper option of decanting into another container e.g. a small Ziploc style bag. Although not as cost effective compared to powder, these tablets are ideal for the busier time strapped person i.e. lighter and easier to pack.

Toothpick (s)

These are handy to carry with you at all times, for oral cleanliness after eating. Essential Products USA have 3 box of containing around 300 classic wooden picks and Unique Industries do a pack of 1000 individually wrapped picks (excellent value).



It is a good idea to keep your toothpicks in a toothpick holder for ease of locating them but also to prevent damage. Why not just use a dedicated toothpick? Besides better hygiene, you may wish to offer a toothpick to any fellow companions with you. Try Pocket Pics stainless steel one by Cross Pens, Sot’s chrome one or Hart’s mahogany & chrome holder for $15. 



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