Oral hygiene is an essential aspect of our lives. Doctors and dentists say it all the time. To maintain excellent oral health, however, there are essential “tools” for the job.
In your local store, the number of products available would probably daunt you. To help your decision, we have compiled a list of seven important dental hygiene materials you must have at home.
Here is what you should know
Before selecting any dental product, you need to watch out for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. The seal proves that the content and claims on the package and label are accurate, because every manufacturer must verify all information with the ADA.
The following are seven important tools for adequate oral hygiene:
Toothbrushes come in three varieties: soft, medium and hard. Hard-bristled and medium-bristled toothbrushes can be harsh on the gums. The critical rule when brushing is to brush in mild circular motions as opposed to harsh sawing motions. To be safe, you can opt for an electric brush instead.
Electric toothbrushes can also make brushing more convenient for arthritic patients or people with conditions that affect hand coordination. Regardless of the type of toothbrush, you should ensure it has a size and shape that fits your mouth properly to make brushing easy and comfortable.
When choosing toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride to keep the teeth strong and healthy against dental decay. Some toothpastes have ingredients for combating gingivitis, tooth sensitivity, halitosis (bad breath) and tartar (hardened plaque). Toothpastes sometimes have additives, such as whitening agents, that can degrade the tooth enamel.
Dental flosses come in two varieties: waxed and unwaxed. If you have tight spaces between your teeth, the waxed floss will work better. Some flosses have flavors to make the process more bearable.
Dental experts recommend flossing once or twice daily to clean the teeth of debris that may not be removable by brushing. This helps prevent plaques and chances of tooth cavities and gum disease.
Dental picks and sticks
If using dental floss is difficult, you can still use interdental cleaning aids to eliminate plaque. These products consist of mini brushes, picks and sticks to clean the teeth. Make sure you do not apply too much force when trying to get between the teeth.
These come in different varieties to manage different dental issues. Some contain fluoride to combat cavities while some reduce plaque occurrence and gingivitis. If brushing and flossing are inconvenient, mouthwash offers an extra level of protection.
This is perfect for teens with braces or people with fixed partial dentures. The device shoots a continuous stream of water into the mouth to remove food debris in inaccessible areas of your teeth. Be sure to select a device that allows you to regulate water pressure.
This helps to reduce bad breath by eliminating the odor-causing bacteria on the tongue.
These dental tools are great but should not make you forget that a dentist appointment is essential. You may think your teeth feel great, but most dental issues have no visible signs. Ensure you visit your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups.