Twice-yearly dental checkups can do wonders for your teeth, but what about the other 363 days of the year? Everyone knows that dentists typically recommend brushing your teeth twice a day. It can be easy, however, to overlook the importance of the products you use to clean your teeth. Choosing the right products can be vital or maintaining good oral hygiene.
Looking at a wall of toothpaste can be overwhelming, especially when they all make the same claims. A lot of what toothpaste you use comes down to personal preference. However, it is important to look for a toothpaste with at least 1000 parts per million of fluoride, and a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. A whitening toothpaste could be a good choice if you struggle with discoloration, but they can cause sensitivity over time so may not be for everyone. If you do have sensitive teeth, an anti-sensitivity toothpaste can be a great option. Whatever you choose, fluoride is the most important.
The best rule of thumb when choosing a toothbrush is to look for one with soft bristles. A soft-bristled brush is enough to clean your teeth in most instances, and won’t injure the gums or damage enamel. It is also important to replace your brush frequently – about every three months. The bristles can become damaged and less effective over time, and bacteria can develop.
Traditional vs. Powered Toothbrushes
There is little evidence that powered toothbrushes clean the teeth any better than a regular brush. An electric brush can be easier, however, and more fun to use. For some people, this can be a motivator to brush their teeth, and if this works for you then that’s a good thing! Because they are easier to use, electric toothbrushes might be a good choice for people with some mobility issues. The chunky handles may also be easier to grip for people with hand problems.
In addition to twice-daily brushing, flossing is the second most-recommended part of home dental hygiene. A lot of choosing a floss comes down to the spacing of your teeth. If you have wide-set teeth, choose a thick floss or even a dental tape. If your teeth are quite tight, a thin floss is the best choice. Anything else – minty or flavorless, waxed or monofilament – is up to you.
As with toothpaste, it is always good to choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride. For most people, an alcohol-based mouthwash is best for killing the bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you like, you can choose an option designed to address a specific hygiene concern, such as teeth whitening, gingivitis, or chronic dry mouth.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have questions about what products are best for your mouth, we are always happy to help. To discuss your dental health needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan O’Malley at O’Malley Dental in Simpsonville, SC. You can contact our office online or at 864-962-7672.