Which Products Should I Use?
What type of toothbrush is best?
A toothbrush head should be a size that allows easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums. It should have a long, wide handle for a firm grip. The brush should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so it doesn’t hurt your gums. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles begin to fray, or you have a cold or the flu.
What is the best toothpaste? Mouthrinse?
Most of the toothpastes on the market are basically the same. Be sure you are using a fluoride toothpaste that is safe and non-abrasive. All fluoride toothpastes work effectively to fight plaque and cavities while it cleans and polishes the tooth enamel. If your teeth are hypersensitive to hot and cold, try a paste designed for sensitive teeth. Toothpastes containing baking soda and/or peroxide give the teeth and mouth a clean, fresh, pleasant feeling that can offer an incentive to brush more. But remember, fluoride is the true active ingredient at work protecting your teeth. Check and make sure the product has the ADA Seal of Approval.
Anticavity rinses with fluoride have been clinically proven to fight up to 50% more of the bacteria that cause cavities. However, initial studies have shown that most over-the-counter antiplaque rinses and antiseptics are not much more effective against plaque and gum disease than rinsing with water. Most rinses are effective in curbing bad breath and freshening the mouth for up to three hours.
Should I use over-the-counter dental instruments?
It takes dentists and hygienists years of schooling to properly use these instruments and to diagnose an oral condition. Misuse of these instruments by untrained people can easily damage the teeth and gums leading to sensitivity, gingival recession, tooth chipping and other serious problems.
Is there any danger in using toothpicks?
The occasional use of toothpicks to remove food particles is fine. Long term, vigorous use of toothpicks will cause abrasion of the teeth and gingival recession. Habitually leaving a toothpick in the mouth for long periods of time can cause excessive wearing of the teeth and temporomandibular joint problems. Also, be careful not to break off the tip in your gums.