Brush Up on the Basics
The most fundamental oral hygiene habit is brushing. While many people understand the importance of brushing twice a day, the quality of your toothbrush, toothpaste, and even your brushing technique is also important.
One of the most important qualities of a toothbrush is the bristle strength. We recommend avoiding hard or medium bristles. Using anything but soft bristles could damage your gums and lead to gum recession. Soft brushes are great at removing plaque and tartar. Beyond that, look for a product that has the Canadian or American dental association seal of acceptance.
After three or four months, toothbrush bristles will begin to weaken and fray. To maintain the cleaning power of your toothbrush, be sure to buy a new brush every three or four months.
A quality electric toothbrush can offer additional cleaning power. The bristles of the advanced device vibrate tens of thousands of times per minute. Another advantage of electric toothbrushes is the built-in timer, which usually lasts or two minutes and promotes longer cleaning times.
There is a wide range of toothpaste options on the market. Whitening toothpastes often have abrasive additives, such as baking soda, that help remove surface-level stains. There are also products for individuals who have sensitive teeth, which can be useful before or after teeth-whitening treatments at our office.
No matter which type or brand of toothpaste you choose, look for a product that contains fluoride. The naturally occurring mineral strengthens enamel and prevents tooth decay.
Patients should understand the difference between a cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwash. Cosmetic rinses are used to reduce the presence of bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes improve oral health by addressing dental problems like harmful bacteria. We recommend that our patients use therapeutic mouthwashes that contain active ingredients like cetylpyridinium chloride, fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, or chlorhexidine.
Flossing is an often overlooked but highly important means of removing plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline where brushing cannot reach. Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers while allowing about several inches of floss between your hands. Glide the floss along each side of your teeth, including the spaces below your gumline. Once you are finished, throw the floss away.