Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator, so the irrigating device actually has little benefit . Some patients prefer an electric toothbrush but the technique for an electric brush is basically the same as the technique for a standard brush. Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle. This rubber tip is supposed to massage gums but massaging gums is not beneficial; only removing plaque is. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth or implants. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with our hygienists or dentists.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line, so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.