Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

electric toothbrush, floss and some blue liquid There are so many products on the market it can become confusing. Choosing between all the products can be difficult. It is important to realize, however, that brushing technique is the MOST important factor in successful daily oral hygiene care. The selection of “new,” “improved,” or “revolutionary” home care devices can never overcome poor technique or irregular use.

Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Toothbrush selection is largely a matter of personal choice but should always follow a few important guidelines. Always choose a SOFT bristled toothbrush. The size of the bristle head should not exceed the width of two back teeth. Ease and comfort of the handle is important individually. Automatic and electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes namely “SONICARE” and “ORAL-B.” If choosing an electric or sonic tooth brush, pay particular attention to the manufacturers directions for use as they are slightly different than manual brushing techniques.

Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator.

Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle; this is used to massage the gums after brushing. Using the rubber-tip should be done only after proper consultation with our hygienists or doctors. Improper use of a rubber tip can cause injury to the gum tissue.

There are also tiny brushes, often oddly angled, (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. The use of these should be in very specific areas as instructed by our hygienists or doctors. Improper use could injure the gums.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.

Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease. Additionally, some patients report increased tooth root sensitivity with tartar control tooth pastes. If you notice this, discontinue their use and consult our team for additional recommendations

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.