Brushing and flossing regularly is important, but you need the right materials to really benefit from your good habits!
The ideal toothbrush
For toothbrushes, we generally advise patients to choose one with soft bristles. If your teeth are very sensitive, a toothbrush with ultra-soft bristles may be prescribed to you. Firm bristles are only suitable for people with tough gums. Generally speaking, synthetic bristles are softer and more hygienic than natural ones, which also tend to be too hard and could damage your gums.
The head of the toothbrush should be relatively small so that it can reach the various surfaces of your teeth. Toothbrush heads range in shape, with some being very simple, others being articulated and others still being quite complex with variable positions and bristle lengths. If you’re not sure what type of toothbrush is best for your mouth, ask your dentist for a recommendation.
Electric toothbrushes are an increasingly popular choice. The best of them have round heads that rotate over your teeth. You may also choose one with a normal head and sonic scan. Electric toothbrushes should be replaced every two years, while manual ones should be thrown away after three months of use. Note that some manufacturers of electric toothbrushes offer models with replaceable head.
So many toothpastes!
First, choose a flavour you like. After all, if you’re not thrilled with the taste, you’ll be much less likely to brush regularly.
Many brands use special phrasing to persuade people to buy their products. But it’s important to know that all types of toothpaste fight cavities, since they all help remove plaque when used properly. They all contain ingredients that are alike and in similar proportions. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which is known to protect tooth enamel from cavities. Thus, phrasing such as”Fight Cavities” or “Strengthen Enamel” all mean the same.
Even though fluoride is very beneficial for the health of kids’ teeth, you must make sure that little ones don’t swallow toothpaste, or else they can get fluorosis (too much fluoride). This can cause tiny white stains on teeth. For this reason, kids under the age of six should never use more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste.
Antibacterial toothpaste is specially formulated for patients with gingivitis. It contains ingredients that fight against the production of bacteria, and sodium phosphates known to slow down the formation of tartar. If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be a great solution to your problem. They are with desensitizing agents whose effects are felt from a few hours to a few days. The benefits are rarely immediate, hence the importance of using the product daily. If you’re wondering whether either of these products might be right for you, ask your dentist for advice first.
We’ve all heard of toothpaste that’s supposed to whiten teeth. However, consumers should be aware that these products can’t yield the same results as whitening treatments. In fact, they are meant to restore the natural colour of the tooth which is naturally not white. They remove certain stains such as wine, coffee or cigarette. Much like the whitening treatments offered in dental offices, whitening toothpaste is made with peroxide, but it only acts as an abrasive to make the enamel shine. To be effective, it would have to stay in contact with the teeth about 20 minutes! This product is not suitable for everyone and some patients (like those with irritable bowel syndrome or pregnant women) should stay away from it altogether.
What about mouthwash?
Finally, if you use mouthwash, make sure you choose one that’s alcohol-free. Otherwise, you’ll find that your mouth gets dry a few hours after use and you may, therefore, suffer from bad breath! Also, look for products featuring the seal of a recognized dental association. And remember that using mouthwash does not replace brushing and flossing.