Walking down the dental hygiene aisle at the drug store can be very confusing. There are so many different products to choose from. Personal preference is a big factor. How do you pick the products that will give you the best results? Below are a few tips to consider when choosing common dental hygiene products.
There are many manual and powered toothbrushes available. When used properly, both types are effective. Some people think that a hard toothbrush will provide a more thorough cleaning, but this is not the case. It is important to buy a toothbrush with soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles may cause gum tissue to recede, which can lead to sensitivity to sweets and temperature. The toothbrush should also be the right size for your mouth. It should easily fit into your mouth and cover one to two teeth at a time. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months.
Toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors and forms. Some contain peroxide and or baking soda. There are toothpastes that treat tooth sensitivity and gum disease. When choosing toothpaste, be sure to select one that contains fluoride. Fluoride has been proven to help prevent cavities. Children under 6 should be supervised while brushing with fluoride toothpaste to prevent them from swallowing it. Always select a product that has been approved by the American Dental Association. (ADA) This will ensure that the product is safe and effective.
Flossing is as important as brushing when practicing good oral hygiene. Dental floss is available in different flavors and thicknesses. It can be waxed, un-waxed, woven, or contain fluoride. The type of floss that’s right for you will depend upon the size of the spaces between your teeth. Waxed floss is ideal for people with teeth that are spaced tightly together. It slides easily between teeth. Woven floss is thicker, and is better for people with wider spaces between their teeth. It covers a larger area.
Mouthwash is optional but not necessary in maintaining good oral hygiene. Mouthwash does not clean teeth, it simply freshens breath. Many of the top selling mouthwash brands contain alcohol. Alcohol can cause the mouth to become dry. Bacteria flourish in a dry mouth. This can cause bad breath and tooth decay. For this reason, it is generally best to choose a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol.
Fluoride rinses coat the teeth. These rinses are recommended for people who are prone to cavities. They may be used by children who are old enough to understand that they must not swallow it.
Follow these general tips, and be sure to choose the right hygiene products for your needs. If you have any questions about any of the products you are currently using, we’d be happy to help!