With an overwhelming amount of buying options for everything from toothbrushes to irrigation devices, here’s our summary of the basic tools to have in your medicine cabinet for your best oral health.
So many options!
A standby in any oral hygiene toolkit – the toothbrush is a must have. Look for a soft-bristled brush to best remove plaque and debris from your teeth and along your gum line.
A small-headed soft bristled brush works best to get into all those hard-to-reach areas, but pick a size and shape that you’re most comfortable with and that fits your mouth. And always replace your toothbrush every three months, or earlier if it begins to show signs of wear.
The right kind of toothbrush is especially important for children. Using the wrong kind can damage gums. Be sure to choose a children’s toothbrush with soft nylon bristles, at a size that fits easily in the mouth and can reach all teeth to brush 1-2 at a time.
Toothpaste offers many different benefits, some specially formulated for sensitive teeth, or whitening. Help to strengthen the outer enamel of your teeth by choosing a toothpaste containing fluoride. For children, choose a flavored toothpaste that masks the fluoride to encourage a regular brushing habit.
Flossing regularly is vital to maintaining healthy gums and teeth. It comes in many flavors and forms, specially designed to help with many conditions including tight teeth. Remember to floss gently around your gum line, making a C shape around each tooth – using a push-pull and up and down motion to remove plaque.
Try a floss holder if wrapping floss around your fingers causes you trouble. Floss holders can be found in bright colors to help make flossing fun for kids. Kids should floss once a day with your help.
Mouthwash & Mouth Rinse
Control plaque and freshen breath with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Mouthwashes contain alcohol and are not for children under the age of 6.
Mouth rinses differ from mouthwashes – a mouthwash contains fluoride to coat the teeth and strengthen them, preventing decay and cavities.
An electric toothbrush can be great for those who experience difficulty brushing manually or have limited dexterity. Powered toothbrushes can remove more plaque than regular brushes and make brushing easier for some, but regular toothbrushes work just fine. It all comes down to preference.
These handy little devices have been shown to reduce bleeding, gum inflammation and plaque buildup. Water irrigation devices can help remove food debris and plaque from teeth and gums particularly useful for those with braces or other orthodontic appliances.
The next time you find yourself lost in the toothpaste aisle, or online shopping for the latest gadgets, remember the simple brushing and flossing techniques are still some of the most effective. With new advancements and accessories, it’s important to cover your bases with the above and add in some supplementary tools on an individual basis.
Yours for better dental health,
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