Ensure Good Oral Care By Using Oral Hygiene Aids
While dental cleanings and check-ups are really important for maintaining good oral hygiene and health, it is not enough to ensure lasting good effects. Practicing good oral care at home every day will assist you in avoiding unwanted problems.
The leading cause of tooth loss among adults is periodontal (gum) disease. This is a completely avoidable disease. Brushing and flossing daily, as well as getting cleanings from your dental hygienist every 6 months will keep periodontal disease away. On top of that, staying on top of your oral hygiene will keep your smile bright and beautiful!
With so many options for oral hygiene aids, it may take some trial and error to figure out which ones work well for your needs. Below is a list of the most common dental care products you can use at home to improve your oral health.
Dental floss is a thin line made up of nylon or polyethylene strands. It is the most common cleaner used for getting in between teeth and underneath the gum line. Floss can come in different flavors to make the experience more pleasant for someone who doesn’t enjoy flossing. Flossing is very effective at removing food and plaque from between the teeth, but should be used carefully so not to cause any damage or bleeding to your gums. Bleeding may occur if you neglect to floss for longer periods of time. You should floss at least once a day, but it’s fine to do it with every brush.
These are tiny brushes that are good at cleaning the contours of teeth and below the gums. They come in various sizes to fit your preference.
Some mouth rinses can be effective at reducing bad breath and plaque. Cosmetic rinses (most of the ones you see on the shelves) are good at temporarily getting rid of bad breath, but studies have shown that there is little effect of plaque. Therapeutic rinses are usually more effective, as they have active ingredients regulated by the FDA that reduce plaque and bad breath. These mouth rinses will sometimes require a prescription.
An oral irrigator is a device that sprays a stream of water that can be used to remove bacteria and food from between the teeth and under the gums. Water Jets and Waterpiks should not be used in place of brushing and flossing, but they are proven to lower the risk of gum disease. See your dental hygienist for a cleaning every 6 months to help remove deeper debris.
Rubber Tip Stimulators
The rubber tip stimulator (aka a gum stimulator) is effective at removing plaque and cleaning your teeth along the gumline. They can also be helpful at cleaning between the teeth. This all helps prevent gum disease. Remember to replace the tip once worn and to store the device properly in a cool place.
Tongue cleaners are devices used to scrape bacteria, fungi, and food particles off the surface of your tongue. The bacteria that colonize on the tongue is not only linked to bad breath but many other non-mouth related health problems as well. Scrape your tongue prior to brushing to avoid ingesting bacteria and fungi. This should be done before every brush to properly avoid the buildup of bad bacteria.
There are tons of different toothbrushes to pick from, you might be at a loss for which is the most effective. Dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush as it is much more effective at dislodging food particles and plaque from the hard-to-reach places of the teeth. Manual toothbrushes can be just as effective but will require more effort for the same results.
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or once bristles are fraying and worn. Worn bristles are much less effective at cleaning. Soft-bristled brushes are softer on the gums and less likely to cause damage than medium or hard bristle brushes. Remember to always use ADA approved toothbrushes.
Contact our office if you have any questions regarding dental hygiene aids.