Chandler Dentist Explains How to Choose The Right Tools for Good Oral Hygiene
We all know the most important tools for good oral hygiene, right? A toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Most people have their favorite brands or styles, but there is value to taking a closer look at the tools you use. Your daily home-care routine is the single most important factor that determines how healthy your teeth and gums will be. Using the “best” tools usually means finding the tools that are a good fit for you.
Would you like to learn more about your family’s oral health? Chandler AZ dentist Dr. Mark Arooni can help you get the best oral health of your life. Call our Chandler dental office at 480-855-1200 to make an appointment.
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
The most important things to remember when buying a toothbrush are to choose one with soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles may feel like they get your teeth cleaner, faster, but there’s no evidence that they actually do. In fact, hard bristles can damage your oral health because they are harsher on the gum tissues. Overbrushing your teeth or using hard bristles can lead to gum recession, which can expose tooth roots and put your teeth at risk.
How should you use your toothbrush? Mark Arooni DDS explains that you should brush for at least two minutes, twice a day. Each of your teeth has two-to-three separate surfaces that need to be cleaned, so you should find yourself adjusting the position of your brush frequently and varying your brushstrokes. A toothbrush should be tossed out and replaced about every three months (or after an illness) so don’t get too attached to your brush.
Electric toothbrushes are very popular these days, and some even come with an internal timer to make sure you use them for a full two minutes. Studies have shown that both electric and traditional toothbrushes are great choices, so you aren’t necessarily missing out if you don’t buy one.
When it comes to toothpaste, the key concept is fluoride. Whether you choose a gel or a paste, whitening, a baking-soda containing brand, or other type—as long as it contains fluoride, it is a good choice for adults and older kids. Some patients in Chandler develop problems with their toothpaste when hormonal changes or illness makes them more prone to nausea. If this happens to you, consider buying a children’s toothpaste, as they tend to have milder flavors than adult pastes.
Dental Floss and Other Flossing Tools in Chandler
The American Dental Association and Chandler AZ dentist Mark Arooni recommend that you floss your teeth every day. This may seem like a simple piece of advice, but many people get stuck in a non-flossing loop. When you fail to floss every day, your gums may bleed when you do finally floss. This can make you less likely to floss the next day, as you may want to “give your gums a break” to heal. However, flossing every day is always the best choice, even if your gums bleed for a few days as they readjust.
Similarly, some people don’t floss daily because they think flossing is just for when you need get food unstuck from between the teeth. The purpose of flossing truly is to remove plaque and bacteria from the surfaces between the teeth and at the gum line. When you don’t floss, you are leaving 36 percent of your tooth surfaces uncleaned and leaving your gum tissues open to bacterial infection. Fail to loss long enough, and you might wind up with uncurable gum disease.
If you have trouble flossing, you might want to consider changing the tools you use. If your teeth are very crowded and the floss “pops”, try using a Teflon-coated floss that goes in and out more smoothly (Glide floss). If you hate using loose floss, try using a pre-loaded flossing pick that is easier to manipulate. If you have braces or bridgework, you may want to try an end-tufted brush or stiff-ended flossing pick to clean between the teeth. One of the best alternatives to flossing is an oral irrigator (water flosser) that uses water pressure to “floss” the teeth. These devices offer a fast, easy alternative if you have trouble reaching the spaces around all your teeth with traditional floss.
Rinses and Mouthwash
Most people choose a mouthwash or oral rinse because they love that extra-clean feeling it delivers. We all have our favorite flavors, but you should also pay attention the ingredients in your rinse. If you use an anticavity rinse that contains fluoride, you should refrain from eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes afterward, to get the full cavity-fighting benefit. If you have gingivitis or signs of gum disease, you may want to use an antiseptic (antibacterial) rinse to help reduce bacteria levels in the mouth. Rinses are not necessary for good oral hygiene, but they can be an extra layer of protection for your teeth and gums when used properly.
Chandler AZ dentist Dr. Mark Arooni of Mark Arooni DDS wants you and your family to have healthy and beautiful smiles. To learn more about home care and oral health, contact us online or call 480-855-1200 and make an appointment to meet with Dr. Arooni.
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