As you browse through dental care products at your local pharmacy, a wide variety of products may confuse you. There is a huge collection of toothpaste, Floss, Interdental brushes and mouthwashes available everywhere. Do you know which one to choose? Can you have a great smile without them? From toothbrushes to tongue scrapers, here’s how to make good teeth-cleaning choices to keep your smile bright and your mouth healthy.
When buying a toothbrush, you’ll get hard, medium, and soft bristles.
“It is always good to use a soft-bristled toothbrush,”
says Dr. Ankita Gada
, BDS Dental Director of Sabka dentist.
Hard-bristled and even medium-bristled toothbrushes are too abrasive on your gums. You can also consider an electric toothbrush. Some people brush too hard or in a harsh motion as opposed to a gentle circular motion, but an electric toothbrush can help to prevent harsh scrubbing to give better results. An electric toothbrush can also make brushing comfortable for people who have arthritis or some other health condition that affects the hands. Whether manual or powered, your toothbrush should be a size and shape that fit in your mouth well so that teeth cleaning is convenient and easy.
Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavity
. Many kinds of toothpaste have ingredients that fight sensitive tooth
(early-stage gum disease), bad breath
, or hardened plaque called tartar. Some of these kinds of toothpaste may have additives, such as a whitening substance that can harm your tooth enamel. So ask your dentist for suggestions on the best toothpaste for your specific oral health needs.
Flossing is a must for healthy teeth. To keep each tooth healthy you should floss at least once a day. Flossing removes food scraps trapped between teeth that your toothbrush misses. It helps to reduce plaque, prevent cavity and gum disease
. Dental floss comes waxed and unwaxed. If your teeth are tightly spaced, waxed floss or flossing tape may slide between them more easily. Floss also comes in many flavors to make flossing feel like less of a chore.
If you have difficulty using dental floss, interdental (between the teeth) cleaning aids can help remove plaque. These products incorporate picks, sticks, and mini-brushes to get between and around teeth. Make sure you can smoothly get between your teeth and under your gum line with the product you choose.
This oral hygiene appliance gives a steady stream of water in your mouth to remove food from hard-to-reach places between and around your teeth. This can be especially helpful for teens who have trouble cleaning around braces and for people with fixed partial dentures. These are also called water jet or water toothpick.
It uses pulsating water to remove plaque and food debris between teeth as well as below the gum line. Be sure to look for one that you can control the water pressure, so the pressure isn’t too high.
The best way to whiten your teeth is to visit the dental clinic, where you can get a product with a custom fit tray. Teeth whiteners use peroxide solutions to bleach the teeth. You can also try some over-the-counter product, i.e whitening strips. These whitening products are good, but won’t give the same results as an office treatment because the peroxide solution isn’t as strong and the strips aren’t customized to fit your mouth.
Different mouthwashes take care of different dental problems. Some help to reduce the plaque and prevents gingivitis; others contain fluoride to help fighting tooth decay
. Some can control or eliminate bad breath. If you find difficult to brush and floss, a mouthwash may provide additional protection against cavities and gum disease. Ask your dentist to suggest a mouthwash which is best for you.
Tongue scrapers can help to reduce bad breath by decreasing the number of bacteria that cause it. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by 70 percent.
Even with these teeth-cleaning products, don’t forget that one of the most important “tools” for a healthy smile is to see your dentist regularly. Dentists don’t just find cavities — they look for tartar accumulation, gum disease, problems with your jaw bite, bad breath, and health problems like oral cancer and even sleep apnea. Many cavities and dental infections show no signs or symptoms, so a significant oral problem can go undetected unless you see a dentist on a regular basis. While you’re sitting in front of the dentist, be sure to ask how often you should have dental checkups and teeth cleanings for your particular needs, and ask for additional guidelines on dental care products to point you in the right direction.