You know about toothbrushes and floss, but what about interdental brushes and tongue scrapers? There are many dental aids to help maintain a healthy smile, and it can be difficult to know what they all are and how they work. Here is a breakdown of what you can find in any regular store to help keep your teeth and gums in top shape.
Manual toothbrushes come in super soft, soft, medium and hard. As a general rule: medium and hard brushes are too abrasive on gum tissue and are rarely beneficial. Soft is the standard toothbrush, and super soft toothbrushes are a great aid for anyone with recession to preserve the gum line. Alternatively, electric toothbrushes help to prevent abrasive scrubbing that causes recession and are a more comfortable alternative for anyone with reduced dexterity. As a rule, smaller toothbrush heads work better than larger toothbrush heads as they are easier to adapt into tight spaces and toward the back of the mouth.
The most crucial ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride acts to strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. It can be found in most toothpaste brands unless otherwise stated. Toothpaste can be geared to preventing tartar build up, reducing tooth sensitivity and even whitening teeth.
Dental floss is vital for cleaning the in-between surfaces of teeth that toothbrushes otherwise can’t access. Floss can be used as a manual string or with the help of a floss holder that provides a handle. Floss can be either waxed or unwaxed. Waxed floss reduces shredding and is best when contacts between teeth are tight.
Tongue scrapers are used to remove bacteria accumulation on the surface of the tongue. The tongue is a rough surface filled with tiny taste buds and salivary glands, and it can easily harbour bacteria, which can lead to bad breath known as “halitosis.” Tongue cleaners are either bristled brushes or ribbed plastic that remove plaque bacteria when pulled from the back of the tongue to the front.
Many other aids can be used to clean the teeth, gums and mouth depending on what is needed. Mouthwash is a great way to reduce bacteria (but make sure it’s FDA approved.) proxabrushes and floss threaders are great to clean around the brackets and bands that come with braces.
If you have any questions about a product you’ve selected to use as part of your oral hygiene regimen, or need help determining what to use, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.