Proper dental hygiene is the most economical and effective way to prevent most oral problems, so knowing how to choose the right products is essential to achieve the correct results.
In this article, we show you how to choose each of the elements that make up your oral hygiene, what you should look for, and which ones to avoid.
Why is oral hygiene important at home?
To prevent the most common diseases in the mouth (cavities and gum disease), it is necessary to brush your teeth, floss, and rinse. Brushing and flossing your teeth not only stops the buildup of dental plaque on your teeth, which is the leading cause of cavities, but also reduces the chance of developing cavities and gum disease.
Inflammation related to gum disease affects other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and the birth of low-birth-weight babies.
However, brushing and flossing daily is only part of what you need to do. Regular dental checkups and good home care (brushing, flossing, and rinsing) are the foundation of a good prevention program.
Therefore, you must go to the dentist twice a year. Dentists will remove any tartar buildup on your teeth and can detect other potential problems as well as offer treatment. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should go to the dentist starting at the age of one year or within six months after their first tooth has erupted.
What toothbrush should I use?
A soft or medium bristle toothbrush is recommended, as both are efficient at removing dental biofilm without damaging the necks of the teeth or the gums. However, if you use a medium-hard bristle brush, you should brush with less force. Otherwise, you can damage your teeth and gums.
In terms of size, the toothbrush must have dimensions that allow it to access your entire mouth, including the most posterior molars.
Lastly, the bristles should preferably be flat to ensure maximum cleanliness and, at the same time, ideally equipped with a tongue cleaner on the back. Otherwise, it would help if you used a specific instrument for the hygiene of the tongue instead of using the bristles of the brush.
In children, oral hygiene and cleaning should begin from the appearance of the first tooth. Generally, children’s brushes are smaller than adult brushes; their bristles must always be soft, and the handle must be wide and light to allow a correct grip.
The toothbrushing of babies, and up to approximately eight years of age, depends entirely and exclusively on the parents, who must make sure they do it correctly by consulting their dentist. Special teethers relieve the discomfort of erupting teeth and thimble-shaped brushes that parents can use for their little ones.
What is the correct toothpaste?
The best way to select a suitable toothpaste is by observing your dentist. He will recommend the ideal product for your teeth according to your needs. Another option is to locate those with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance.
Having this seal means that the product has met the ADA criteria. In specific safety, effectiveness, and quality control standards. Which allows us to feel safe since the products have scientific support. However, some manufacturers choose not to seek ADA approval.
It would help if you also chose fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities. Only fluoride-containing toothpaste is effective against cavities and demineralization.
What follows is the particular selection according to taste or flavor.
Whether in gel or cream, with spearmint, the function will always be the same. If any ingredient bothers you, or if your teeth are sensitive, there are specific products for each case (sensitive gums, whiter teeth, bad breath, caries prevention, etc. If the problem persists, it is better that you go to your dentist.
What is the correct floss?
If you do not know which type of floss is best for you, consult your dentist or dental hygienist. But here are some points that might be helpful:
- Large spaces between your teeth? Try Super Floss dental tape or floss.
- Is there not much space between your teeth? Waxed dental floss may be easier to slide into these spaces.
- Do you want to make it easier? Use disposable floss or pre-measured strip threads.
- Do you wear braces or bridges? A fluffy dental floss is ideal for you.
To use any of these, you must hold the floss firmly in two fingers, in front of a mirror, using about 30 cm and clean following the curvature between the teeth without hurting the gum, interproximal covering one tooth for each time.
Many people always use a standard thread; others prefer the mint flavor, while you choose the one with wax. just remember that when it comes to flossing, the most important thing is that you use it
What is the right mouthwash?
Mouthwash is an essential and indispensable product in our oral hygiene routine. Dental rinses can be beneficial against lousy breath, control cavities, and prevent gum disease.
For example, rinses to prevent gum disease contain substances such as chlorhexidine and alcohol to fight bacteria that cause gingivitis and cavities. But rinses with chlorhexidine should be used only as directed by your dentist and for a predetermined time; otherwise, they can cause stains or burns.
A fluoride rinsemouth can help prevent tooth decay, however, it is best to ask your dentist which mouthwash is right for you. But as with toothpaste, if you want to be sure that mouthwash will help you keep your teeth healthy, make sure it has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal.
- Brushing and flossing stops the buildup of dental plaque, which is the leading cause of cavities and can reduces the chances of developing cavities and gum disease.
- You should brush your teeth twice a day, especially before bed, and floss once a day. It would help if you also went to your dentist twice a year.
- Brush your teeth gently in circular motions, use fluoride toothpaste, and be sure to brush your tongue or use a tongue cleaner.
Dr. Lina Padilla has a degree in Dentistry from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She combines her professional activity with dental, medical research, and writing. I have served as director of dentistry in the Honduran woman and family association, as an advisor in oral surgery for the municipality of Puerto Cortes, Cortes, Honduras. I currently work as a general dentist in the family dental clinic specializing in orthodontics.
I’m a dental professional having studied for six years to graduate as a dentist from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. Since graduation, I have practised as a dentist for five years attending to patients and cosmetic surgery clients. I have a passion for writing which has led me to be a writer on this site. I combine my professional activity with dental, medical research, and writing. I have served as director of dentistry in the Honduran woman and family association, and as an advisor in oral surgery for the municipality of Puerto Cortes, Cortes, Honduras. I currently work as a general dentist in the family dental clinic specializing in orthodontics.