Your Guide to Dental Care Products
There are many dental care products on the market today, so how would you know which one to choose? There tooth price and toothbrushes and mouth washes so you need to get the facts about what decisions you need to make regarding your oral health.
The best way to select toothpaste is to ask a dental hygienist or dentist to recommend the product.
You can look for those with the American Dental Associations Seal of Acceptance. This means that the product is made in ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness. The packaging and the advertising claims are scientifically supported. Many manufacturers choose not to seek ADA approval. The seal means that the ADA agrees it is safe and effective but it doesn't always evaluate or endorse the product.
You should always choose the toothpaste with fluoride to prevent cavities. This is a matter of personal choice. You can choose one that tastes and feels best. Gel or paste, wintergreen or spearmint they all work similarly. If there is an ingredient that bothers you or your teeth are sensitive you can try something else. If there's a problem with something see your dentist.
Bristles are always the main factor in a toothbrush choice. Dentists recommend soft bristles for adults and children, especially if you have sensitive teeth or gums. Hard bristles are stiff are not effective in removing plaque or stains and can actually cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Make sure you choose a toothbrush with a head size that fits into your mouth and touches one or two teeth at a time. When you choose a toothbrush for the child make sure you choose a very small one.
Ask your dentist which features in bristle head designs will work best in your mouth.
You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If it looks worn or frayed get a new one. The bristles that fan out and spread mean it's time for a new toothbrush.
Manual versus power toothbrushes
Are you better off when you use a sonic toothbrush or powered electric or a manual toothbrush? It's a draw. The real key to good oral hygiene is the correct and effective use of a toothbrush. A power toothbrush can make it easier to do the job correctly. The other advantages are:
Easy to use if you:
- Have a medical condition such as arthritis that makes it hard to use your hand
- You are elderly
- You are physically challenged
- You have misaligned teeth and teeth that are uneven
- You have braces or orthodontic appliances
- An electric toothbrush is fun to use and you may brush even longer
An electric toothbrush can improve oral health. One study has shown that the long-term 4 to 6 months use of a power toothbrush can lower the amount of plaque on your teeth and avoids periodontal disease.
Power toothbrushes minimize to staining. The scrubbing effect of a power toothbrush is superior to manual toothbrushes in that it can reduce and remove surface stains on the teeth.
How do I choose a power toothbrush?
The options are plentiful when it comes to power toothbrushes:
Sonic toothbrushes make 30,000 to 40,000 brushstrokes per minute. This is in comparison to 300 per minute if you brush by hand. The bristle can rotate in a dentist recommended back-and-forth motion. The brush directs fluid between teeth and between the gum line, which removes plaque and only sonic toothbrushes make this claim.
Electric toothbrushes make 3000 to 7500 strokes per minute. The designs differ but the bristles are either set in a round head and they all spin together or in individual Tufts within the brush head and they spin independently. Some even rotate and pulse to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.
These water picks are known as oral water irrigators. They are not for everyone. They work best if you have braces or other dental work that traps food. They don't remove plaque because only brushing with toothpaste and flossing can do that.
Mouthwashes and rinses
Mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath. It can ward off gum disease. But you must use a bacteria-fighting rinse. A product with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. It is not recommended to rinse with an alcohol-based mouthwash for children under six who can swallow liquid. Make sure you check with your dentist to find out which type is best for you.