When it comes to caring for our teeth, a surprising number of us don’t have a fully optimised oral care routine. Most of us will reach for the toothbrush and toothpaste and while this can suffice in most cases, investing in extra products like mouthwash and floss can truly keep your mouth looking and feeling as fresh as can be. In between regular trips to the dentist and periodontist, you should use the following:
A Good Toothbrush
This is a given, but how do you know which toothbrush is best for your teeth? Well, the general consensus from the experts seems to be that softer, smaller brushes are generally better for your oral hygiene than larger, harder-bristled brushes. This is because they are better for removing plaque and debris without irritating your gums, and the smaller size can help reach the harder-to-get areas of your mouth, such as the rear molars. From there, the rest is down to preference.
For some, a flexible handle may be best, while others might prefer non-slip grips and sturdier handles. You could also opt for a powered toothbrush, particularly if you have difficulty getting those harder places due to poor dexterity or simply a lack of experience.
The Right Toothpaste
Choosing the right toothpaste will depend on your own personal needs. Whitening toothpaste can be good for those who are particularly prone to staining, while sensitivity-focused toothpaste is better for those who have particularly sensitive teeth. For children, you’ll want to get your hands on fluoride-based toothpaste, but this is also important for adults who may not get enough of it in their diet or those with diabetes.
Do your research into the types of toothpaste available to you, and pick out which one you believe you need. In most cases, you can’t go wrong, and you can always jump between brands and styles to find the one that works best for you.
As with toothpaste, mouthwash can come with a range of different focuses, including breath freshening, teeth whitening, gingivitis protection and solutions for dry mouth. In some cases, you may find that the mouthwash you’ve chosen has too strong of a taste. Due to this common complaint, more and more brands are bringing out mouthwashes with milder tastes and for children, you can pick up flavoured mouthwashes that, in some cases, are safer to swallow while they’re still learning the process. This isn’t always the case, however, so make sure to read the small print on your chosen bottle carefully.
Floss comes in different shapes, thicknesses, colours and, as with toothpaste and mouthwash, with different uses too. For the most part, the floss will have a mild flavour and be used solely for dislodging food from your teeth, but you can also pick up floss designed specifically for plaque removal.
As far as size and shape go, you can pick up thinner floss if your teeth have smaller gaps, or dental tape can work if you have larger gaps between your teeth. You can pick up floss that’s waxed, flavoured, spongey and more – it all depends on the state of your mouth currently and what you feel most comfortable using.
If you are unsure about the right products for you, you should speak to your dentist for advice. They can direct you towards the right kinds of toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss to suit you and your oral health best.