This range of products are designed to give you healthy teeth and gums. They can be used as part of an oral routine which is ideally carried out on a daily basis. This routine will ensure that your teeth stay nice and clean as well as reducing the risk of tooth decay and/or gum disease.
There are several methods available for maintaining a healthy set of teeth. These include brushing and flossing, using a mouthwash, a healthy diet which is low in sugar and having a professional clean via your dentist.
Toothbrushes and toothpastes
These are both inexpensive and easy to use. You have a choice as to whether you prefer the traditional ‘manual’ toothbrush or an electric toothbrush but the main thing is how you use it.
Choose a fluoride toothpaste as this is proven to protect the teeth against disease and decay.
Dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day or after each meal. This will not only remove any food deposits but will reduce the build up of tartar and plaque. It will also keep your teeth clean and white and prevent bad breath.
As well as these two main types there are smaller, specialist types of brushes which are designed to complement your existing toothbrush. These include ‘interdental brushes’ and ‘proximal brushes’.
An interdental brush is a small type of brush which can be held between the fingers and the thumb. It comes in a range of different sizes and is great at reaching those areas of your teeth which your normal toothbrush cannot.
This is not designed to replace a normal toothbrush; it is there to complement it as well as being a part of your dental hygiene routine.
This type of toothbrush looks very different to a normal toothbrush as it resembles a small bottle with a curved, bendy head which can get into the nooks and crannies of your teeth. What you may find is that a brush with a small head is ideal for your front teeth whereas a large headed brush is required for the back teeth.
If this is not suitable then consider using a proximal brush.
These look very similar to a conventional toothbrush except that they have two parts. The first part is the handle which looks like a toothbrush and is there to hold the brush head.
The second part is the brush head itself. These come in a range of colours and sizes and are very similar to the interdental brush. These small brush heads can get between your teeth and remove any food particles and plaque.
As with the interdental brush; they are designed to be used along with your conventional toothbrush.
As well as brushing the surface of the teeth, use dental floss to clean those areas between your teeth. Particles of food can become trapped there and it is all too easy to forget those when cleaning your teeth.
And there are awkward areas of your mouth which a toothbrush cannot easily reach.
Most people don’t think of this and just use a toothbrush but combining this with flossing will ensure a thorough clean of all areas of your mouth and your gums.
Flossing may sound easy but as with anything there is a right and wrong way to do it. The main thing is to take a bit more time so that you remove all food debris and plaque that is residing between your teeth.
Dental floss can take the form of fine threads or tape and comes flavoured or unflavoured. The best way of using it is to wrap one end of a price of floss around your middle finger before wrapping the other end around the finger on your other hand.
Grip this firmly and insert it between your teeth. Move it backwards and forwards in a ‘rocking’ motion but be careful not to pull it too tightly as this can damage your gums.
Do this for the teeth in both your upper and lower jaw.
Is there more than one type of dental floss?
Yes. There are flavoured or unflavoured types, waxed or unwaxed, tape or thread and woven floss. If you find it difficult to hold dental floss because of arthritis or a poor grip generally then a ‘mini flosser’ can help. This is a special device which acts as a holder for the dental floss and allows the patient to move the floss to and fro without causing any injury to them self.
After brushing and flossing the next thing to do is to rinse out your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.
These are very useful at removing food debris, alleviating bad breath and reducing the bacteria in your mouth. They are coloured liquids which often contain alcohol and a flavouring agent.
There are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic, although natural ‘herbal’ type mouthwashes are becoming increasingly popular.
Cosmetic mouthwashes are usually bought over the counter whereas therapeutic ones are prescribed by your dentist. Herbal mouthwashes can also be bought over the counter.
Cosmetic mouthwashes may contain a whitener which is great from an aesthetic point of view but does not add any extra health benefits. This type of mouthwash is good at hiding bad breath and can leave your teeth feeling clean and ‘zingy’.
The therapeutic mouthwash is recommended by your dentist if you are suffering from gum disease, tooth decay or a dry mouth. It can also be prescribed after periodontal treatments such as a ‘deep clean’ or oral surgery.
This type of mouthwash may contain a chemical or chemical which are designed to treat a specific condition. For example Xylitol which acts as a sugar substitute and can reduce the risk of tooth decay.
There are many different types of this mouthwash and your dentist will be able to recommend the right one for you.
If you are not happy about using a cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash because of chemicals or additives then ‘natural’ mouthwashes are an option. These are seen as being kinder to you and the environment and are composed of plant-based materials.
Examples of these include essential oils such as cinnamon or fennel, aloe vera, tea tree, peppermint and sage.
There are numerous arguments regarding the use of ‘synthetic’ mouthwashes as compared to ‘natural’ ones but it is very much a matter of personal choice.
Another protective measure is that of fluoride.
Fluoride is often marketed as a form of protection against tooth decay and disease and most of our commercial toothpastes contain this important compound. It is also found in bottled water.
Fluoride can be included in dental fillings, a scale and polish and some brands of mouthwash. Your dentist can add fluoride protection via a gel, varnish or foam. These can be directly applied to the teeth or via a mouth guard.
Fluoride supplements are another option although these are only available through your dentist.
Dental Hygiene Index:
- What is dental hygiene?
- Why is it important?
- What does it involve?
- Why do I need to visit the dentist every 6 months?
- I don’t like visiting the dentist so what can I do?
- What is the best toothbrush to use?
- What is ‘flossing’?
- Does an antiseptic mouthwash help?
- What is a ‘dental clean?’
- Which toothpaste should I use?
- I have bad breath, how can I get rid of this?
- What is ‘gum disease?’
- Teeth Brushing
- The ‘Scale and Polish’ Procedure
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Hygiene Products
- Smile Makeover
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Veneers
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Restorations
- Dental Implants
- Cerec dentistry
- Cosmetic Bonding
- Tooth Reshaping
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Cost of Cosmetic Dentistry
- Teeth Straightening
- Inman Aligner
- 6 month smiles
- Damon Braces
- Lingual braces
- General Dentistry
- Dental Hygiene
- Perio Protect
- Dental Floss