Maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t difficult, but it’s always made easier with the right products that work for you. There are tons of options on the market, and it can feel overwhelming to try everything to see what works. Chevy Chase, MD dentist Dr. Chris Banks and his team at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry have some general recommendations to keep your smile healthy.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
A visit to your local drugstore will reveal dozens upon dozens of toothpaste choices. You should always use a toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the label and contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and protects your teeth against cavities and highly-pigmented foods. It will also guard against tooth decay and reduce dental infections.
There are different types of toothpaste to choose from, depending on your preferences and needs:
- Tartar Control Toothpaste
- Sensitivity Toothpaste
- Whitening Toothpaste
- Toothpaste containing baking soda
- Tooth Gel
- Toothpaste made for children (with or without fluoride)
If you are allergic to fluoride, consult Dr. Banks or your primary care physician to discuss your options.
Selecting A Toothbrush
It’s important to use a toothbrush that fits your mouth and effectively removes plaque from your teeth.
- Choose a toothbrush that fits your mouth and has the right length and shape to reach all of your teeth.
- Use a soft-bristled brush. Most manufacturers make brushes that are soft, medium or hard-bristled. Hard-bristled brushes are not good for your gums. Soft-bristled brushes are the better option.
- Electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning the teeth and make brushing easier. This is also a good option for individuals whose motor skills are challenged. However, an electric toothbrush isn’t the only toothbrush you can use.
- Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or when they become worn, whichever comes first.
Mouthwash vs. Mouth Rinse
Did you know that mouthwash and mouth rinse are two different products? Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol and do not contain fluoride. Mouthwash freshens your breath but does not actually clean teeth, and mouthwash that contains alcohol is not safe for children.
On the other hand, mouth rinses contain fluoride that protect teeth from plaque buildup and actually cleans the teeth, helping to prevent against cavities. Read the labels carefully before making your decision.
Dr. Banks and the staff at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry are here to help you choose the products that are suited specifically to your needs. Consult with Dr. Banks during your check-up to discuss which dental products are best for you and your family.