When you brush and floss your teeth, you help protect your smile from common oral health issues, such as cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. How do you take care of your smile at home? We’re going to look at the best options for toothbrushes, what to look for in a toothpaste, and how to pick the right mouthwash.
Look for a toothbrush with the American Dental Association’s seal-of-approval. We also suggest one with soft bristles, as brushing too rough with hard or medium bristles can lead to patients inadvertently damaging their enamel.
When purchasing toothpaste, we recommend grabbing one containing fluoride. All over-the-counter pastes should contain fluoride, which helps strengthen teeth against cavities. If you have gum issues, we may suggest Crest Pro Health or Paradontax. If you have sensitive teeth, Sensodyne Pronamel can help reduce sensitivity. For patients we canker sores, Squigle Enamel Saver removes all harsh ingredients. For those with a high risk of cavities, we may suggest a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.
Not everyone actually needs mouthwash, but for those with gingivitis we can recommend an antiseptic rinse, like Listerine, which contains a high alcohol content that kills bacteria. Instead of rinsing, we suggest brushing with you’re the mouthwash to avoid stains while also delivering it to your smile. Zinc rinses, such as TheraBreath and SmartMouth, can improve bad breath and contain no strong odors of alcohol (which can actually make bad breath worse by promoting dry mouth). You can purchase rinses to whiten your teeth, but know that these do little else but remove stains.
You should be able to reach between your teeth and floss up and down the length of your tooth, removing the food particles that could otherwise promote plaque buildup. You can use a pick, tape, or even a water flosser, just as long as you’re cleaning between your teeth every night before bed.
Do You Have Questions About Homecare?
Dr. Lawson and our team can educate you on better homecare to maintain optimal oral health. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling our sleep dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.