While we all need to care for our teeth, there’s no one product we all must use. Yes, we all need to use toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. But each of us has specific needs to keep our smile looking great. So how do you find the right oral health products for yourself and your family?
A brief walk through the oral health care aisle at any store can overwhelm you with the number of choices available. How do you know what to choose?
Features Oral Health Products Should Have
- Any product you choose should have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
- Opt for products that you like and will want to use.
- Choose toothbrushes, floss, and (if desired) a tongue scraper that fits comfortably in your hand and mouth.
The Toothbrush: Electric or manual
For Manual Brushes:
- Unless told by your dentist otherwise, opt for a soft bristle brush
- Choose a toothbrush head that easily fits in your mouth
- Select a toothbrush that is comfortable to hold. After all, you should brush your teeth for two minutes every time.
- Expect to purchase a new brush every 3 to 4 months.
For Electric Brushes:
- Look for one with a timer to make brushing for 2 minutes easier.
- An electric brush with a pressure sensor will let you know if you are brushing too hard.
- Again, opt for a soft bristle brush. Hard or firm bristle toothbrushes will do more harm to your gums than good.
- Choosing a rotating brush or a sonic one is up to you. Both are equal when it comes to effectiveness. If you don’t know which would suit you best, talk to our Crosstown Dental Group Hershey team for their recommendations.
- Look at its purpose. Not all toothpaste is the same. Some are for children, others for a brighter smile, and others for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste containing baking soda helps whiten teeth. Use a paste with potassium nitrate or strontium chloride if you have sensitive teeth. If you aren’t sure what purpose your toothpaste needs to accomplish, talk to the BSDC team.
- Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. A fluoridated toothpaste is more effective at preventing cavities and gingivitis while strengthening your tooth enamel.
- Avoid harsh additives and sweeteners. Some manufacturers use abrasive compounds like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can irritate the gums. Others may add sweeteners that actually cause cavities.
- Flavor – If you don’t like the taste of the toothpaste, you won’t want to brush. Finding the right flavor may take some time, but be persistent.
- Look for an antiseptic mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine, which prevents plaque buildup.
- Choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- If purchasing mouthwash for children, do not buy one that contains alcohol.
- Available in waxed and unwaxed, as well as flossing pics or water pics.
- Identify your needs. Some floss is best for sensitive teeth, others for closely placed teeth, and some people have more space between their teeth. Moreover, people with braces need specific floss. We can help you determine what is best for you.
Have questions about the best dental products for your healthiest smile? Don’t hesitate to talk to us. We are here to help.