Choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
Brushing and flossing regularly is important, but you need the right materials to really benefit from your good habits! 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. Toothbrushes with 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. Electric toothbrushes should be replaced every two years, while manual ones should be thrown away after three months of use.
What about toothpaste? 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. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which is now known to protect tooth enamel from cavities. 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 little 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. If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be a great solution to your problem. 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, but consumers should be aware that these products can’t offer the same results as whitening treatments. Much like the whitening treatments offered in dental offices, whitening toothpaste is made with peroxyde, but it only acts as an abrasive to make the enamel shine. This product is not suitable for everyone and some patients (like those with irritable bowel syndrome) should stay away from it altogether.
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. Also, look for products featuring the seal of a recognized dental association.