Here are 5 key tools to use in doing that:
1. The Right Toothbrush
Removal of plaque from all tooth surfaces is the basic purpose of brushing your teeth. Using a toothbrush with scientifically designed contours will enable you to brush most effectively. And choosing soft over hard bristles will allow you to brush your gum line comfortably to help prevent gum disease.
It's recommended to brush for two minutes at a time, twice a day; even though most Americans brush only 30 to 60 seconds maybe once a day. Brushing should be in small circular motions as well as up and down and back and forth. At the gum line, you should brush at a 45 degree angle for best results.
Electric toothbrushes are fine to use if the setting is slow enough so it won't hurt your tooth enamel.
2. The Right Toothpaste
Avoid any toothpastes that add sugar or artificial colors and other unnecessary ingredients (though a minty flavor or other breath freshener additive is fine). You want a toothpaste with fluoride since it can help remineralize your tooth enamel and help prevent cavities. Baking soda additives also help because of baking soda’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. There are also many specialized toothpastes for sensitive teeth and teeth whitening to consider, but avoid anything with bleaching elements that can actually harm your teeth.
3. Floss and Interdental Brushes
When you only brush the front, back, and crown of a tooth, you still miss 40% of the total tooth surface. Food particles, plaque, and bacteria left to fester in your interdental spaces is sure to cause tooth decay eventually - it must be removed.
Flossing should be done at least once a day before bed time, but preferably twice a day (also in the morning after breakfast).
Use waxed floss or teflon floss to get into tight spaces and lower the risk of the floss tearing. Use "flossettes" if you have difficulty using string floss, and interdental brushes are good for cleaning both teeth and dental appliances.
4. Tongue Scrapers
Your tongue is a bacteria factory, the dirtiest thing in your mouth. That's why you should always brush your tongue. But also consider using a "tongue scraper," a special dental tool that helps you remove gunk and bacteria stuck on your tongue that a toothbrush often misses.
5. Mouth Rinse
You should use an antiseptic mouth rinse after brushing and flossing every time your brush. You only need a very small amount per use, so it shouldn't cost much to use even the highest quality mouth rinse.
Mouth rinses accomplish two things: killing off lingering bacteria in your mouth and washing away any bits of food still stuck on your teeth or gums. It is important to note that mouthrinse is in no way an adequate replacement for brushing and flossing as it does nothing to remove plaque. Think of it as a final breath-freshening step.
Equipping yourself and your family with the best dental hygiene tools can make a big difference. To learn more about how to maintain good oral health, contact Dr. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, today!