Part of your ongoing dental care is daily brushing and flossing of your teeth. Regular brushing reduces bacteria that cause plaque buildup. Plaque can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Tools to maintain your dental health include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. What should you look for when choosing the best toothbrush and toothpaste? Your dentist will be your best guide in choosing what you use for your oral health, but for most people, there are some general recommendations.
Choosing a Toothbrush
The options for brushing are choosing a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. The choice is your personal preference and recommendations of your Tsawwassen dentist.
A recent study shows that an electric toothbrush provides an edge over a manual toothbrush. From the Oral Health Foundation: “Scientists found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush”. The study took place over 11 years and found that participants using an electric toothbrush resulted in 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay. Electric toothbrushes may be a good option for anyone but can be especially beneficial for those with lower dexterity such as children and adults with arthritis.
When choosing a manual toothbrush, a soft bristle is the best choice for most individuals. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, a soft bristle toothbrush is even more important so that you didn’t irritate your teeth.
Choosing a Toothpaste
Taste is one consideration when choosing a toothpaste but there are other aspects to consider as well.
Fluoride helps to fight cavities, so choosing a fluoride toothpaste is the best option for almost everyone. Fluoride protects teeth from decay, prevents worsening decay, reduces acid-related enamel wear, and it can help to restore enamel (before decay is present). Regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is an important step in your dental care routine. Fluoride is safe for children but take care that they don’t swallow too much toothpaste.
Tartar is a build-up of plaque that hardens on the teeth when plaque isn’t removed by brushing. Some kinds of toothpaste help prevent the build-up of tartar. Look for the ingredients of pyrophosphates or zinc citrate.
Those with sensitive teeth or gums may look for a specialized toothpaste. Look for the ingredient potassium nitrate or strontium chloride which can help to soothe nerve endings. Baking soda is also a good option as it is gentle on the teeth and gums.
Whitening or stain-removing toothpastes may provide slight whitening power when used long-term but are not for everyone. Often whitening toothpaste contains abrasive ingredients known to cause tooth sensitivity if used long-term. But generally, abrasive ingredients are shown to be safe and don’t wear away the enamel. Adding baking soda to your toothpaste can be another option – just don’t brush too hard. If you’re looking for whiter teeth, book an appointment for our teeth whitening service.
Any flossing method is an effective option. Whether you choose string, picks, tape, threaders, or another type of floss, the most important step is to floss regularly.
Mistakes People Make While Brushing
It is recommended to brush for about two full minutes and people often stop before.
Also, many people press too hard while brushing which can cause wear on the gums and gum recession. Set a timer for a little while until you learn what two minutes of time feels like. It can also be a great time to do some squats or other tasks you don’t need your hands for. Remind yourself to brush gently.
We’re Here to Help with Your Dental Care
Recommended dental care for your teeth is brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. If you need help in choosing a toothbrush or toothpaste, our dental hygienists and Tsawwassen dentist, Dr. Beeram can address general dentistry habits. The Canadian Dental Association also has product recommendations.
If you’d like to book any dental services at our Tsawwassen dental clinic, contact us or call 604-943-6768. We will discuss your personalized dental care routine and make any recommendations for improvement. Regular dental visits should be part of your dental practice.