Do you have all the right dental tools for a bright smile and healthier teeth?
Check again! Your tools are not limited to using a toothbrush and floss.
While these two are important, you also need other ones that can enhance your mouth’s ecology and improve your overall oral health.
But what should you be choosing among the necessary tools too? An electric or manual brush? A water flosser or traditional floss?
Look no further! This is the list that will help you sort out all the tools you need in your routine.
So, in your next shopping spree, you can get the right products to begin your oral care routine diligently.
Toothbrush- One of the Essential Dental Tools
When choosing a toothbrush, things to ponder over include:
Firstly, if you choose any toothbrush, it should have soft bristles. Even those on a medium level can be harsh on your teeth but especially the hard ones.
A vigorous action of brushing teeth and using hard bristles over that can wear off your enamel over time.
You need to move your toothbrush in gentle strokes that too in a circular motion.
Keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush the inner as well as the outer surfaces from the front to the back teeth.
Moreover, soft bristles can also remove plaque more efficiently than hard bristles.
Speaking of plaque, an electric toothbrush does the job better than a manual one.
However, if you use the correction motion to brush your teeth then you do not have to worry about choosing between the two.
The angle and the motion are more important than the type of brush. So if you are correctly brushing, you will remove enough plaque from both.
That said, electric toothbrushes are slightly better because they can remove stubborn plaque because of their rotating and oscillating head.
Moreover, they can be useful for people with dexterity issues such as Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis or young children who cannot move the brush across their teeth properly.
Additionally, you should look for the right brush head size. A bigger head will not fit in your mouth, hence it will not clean your teeth properly.
A smaller brush head can easily fit and cover all of your teeth. Besides the size, its shape should also be comfortable enough to maneuver around in your mouth.
Choosing a Toothpaste
In order to brush, you also need toothpaste.
Choosing toothpaste can be rather tricky because there are tonnes of options in the market.
Hence, you need to keep your oral health condition in consideration while choosing the right one for you.
Check if you have any of the following conditions:
If you do, then you should go for a toothpaste that deals with the specific issue.
For instance, whitening toothpaste can help remove the tartar and whiten yellow teeth.
Similarly, those for halitosis can overcome morning breath and freshen it.
Though, if you do not face any particular oral health problem then opt for fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride helps to remineralize your enamel and strengthen it.
Therefore, it is not as under the risk of tooth sensitivity, decay and gum disease.
It can prevent several oral health problems as long as your enamel is intact and not worn down.
On the other hand, also keep in mind that certain agents in whitening toothpaste can break down your enamel.
Thus, consult your dentist before you go for any toothpaste in order to treat your oral health condition.
As long as toothpaste removes plaque regularly and strengthens your enamel, you will not find the need to go for a specific one.
But if you do have concerns then choose one that addresses them.
Hence, among rows of toothpaste, select one that suits your needs and if there is no particular problem, go for a fluoride one.
After brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste and toothbrush, it is time to do the other necessary step of your oral care routine- Flossing.
Dental Tools for Flossing
Similar to a toothbrush, there are several options for dental flossing.
You can either use traditional floss or an oral irrigator to remove food particles and plaque stuck in areas where the toothbrush cannot reach.
Keep the following things in consideration while choosing the right flossing tool for your teeth
- With braces and bridges- get a spongy floss or water flosser
- For larger gaps between teeth, you will need unwaxed floss i.e. a dental tape.
- For smaller gaps, a waxed floss will get into tighter spaces
- Don’t want things to get messy- choose a disposable floss or pre-measured strands of floss
You should floss your teeth once a day that is usually during the nighttime routine.
However, if you are more prone to decay and gingivitis then include flossing twice in your routine.
An alternative for using floss is the dental tools, oral irrigator or water flossers.
While they do not replace flossing, they can still reach areas where the toothbrush cannot.
Oral irrigators release a steady stream of water on a reasonable pressure that reaches right on the places between your teeth.
It is especially useful for the elderly and young children with dexterity issues, teens with braces that cannot use traditional floss and people with partial dentures.
Since a water flosser is not as precise as a traditional dental floss, it cannot be its replacement.
Another tool you can add to your routine is the interdental brush. This goes in the interdental spaces exactly where the floss goes too.
However, as the name suggests, interdental brushes have small bristles and filaments that brush against that space to effectively remove plaque.
They are also precise like floss and easy to use. However, an interdental brush is still not an alternative but an extra addition to your oral care routine.
Tongue Cleaners for a Fresher Breath
Besides brushing and flossing, tongue cleaning is an essential step of your oral care routine.
If you do not clean your tongue then bacteria accumulate on the tongue and settle on it. So do the food debris, fungi, toxins and dead cells.
All of these release volatile sulfur compounds that give your breath an unpleasant smell.
Hence, you should clean your tongue at least twice a day.
During the night because after a full day of eating and drinking, there are tonnes of bacteria and debris on your tongue.
And during the day because there is a lack of saliva production during sleep, accumulating bacteria on your tongue results in an unpleasant morning breath.
However, if you suffer from chronic bad breath then you may want to clean your tongue regularly after every meal.
The dental tools you can use for this purpose include:
- Tongue Scraper
- Tongue Brush
A tongue scraper is one of the most effective ways to clean your tongue. Its round surface goes onto your tongue and scrapers the debris, bacteria and toxins away.
It can remove up to 70 percent volatile sulfur compounds resulting in a fresher breath.
Start scraping from the back and make your way to the tip.
A tongue brush can work in a similar manner however, this tool also has bristles that thoroughly clean the crevices of the tongue.
If you do not want to purchase the two, you can still use a toothbrush or the back of a toothbrush with a tiny scraper.
It can still remove volatile sulfur compounds but up to 30 percent less. Hence, if you want a cleaner tongue then going for a tongue scraper or tongue brush will be a better option.
Use it gently from the back to tip without exerting too much pressure.
Non-Essential Dental Tools
These tools are not mandatory to use but they can still improve your oral health greatly.
Most commercial mouthwashes aim at reducing bad breath.
However, there are some that specifically deal with oral health problems such as sensitivity, cavity protection and plaque reduction to prevent gum disease.
A fluoride mouth rinse can strengthen your enamel proving extra protection whereas there are also whitening rinses with active ingredients to whiten teeth.
It is an addition to your routine especially if you cannot brush or floss properly.
Rinse your mouth once by swishing it around for 30 seconds to a minute. Certain rinses like whitening ones will require swishing around for more than a minute to cover all teeth.
Dental sticks and toothpicks can get between your teeth if you are unable to floss properly.
While they may poke and are not the best alternative, these picks can get into smaller gaps and pick out the debris and plaque.
Teeth Whitening Kit
teeth whitening kit consists of trays, gels, strips, pens, toothpaste and rinses.
They are not necessary dental tools unless you want to whiten your teeth.
However, run a course of 4 to 5 months to change the shade of your teeth.
If you suffer from bruxism, then wearing a mouthguard at night becomes essential.
It does not prevent you from teeth grinding however, it reduces the extent of damage bruxism causes.
Having these essential dental tools in your oral routine allows for better hygiene and health.
If you wish to have healthier teeth that last longer then including these tools are the basics.
Once you use them consistently, you will notice an improvement in your mouth’s ecology and overall dental health.
So next time you go shopping, buy your essential tools too.