It can feel overwhelming shopping for dental products at the store. From the many flavors of toothpaste to waxed and unwaxed floss, how do you know what’s best for you? And what about your toothbrush should you go for electric or a manual option?
At Saunders DDS, we know patients struggle to know which products are the best for the health of their teeth and gums. Keeping up with your oral care is essential, and choosing the right toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss for both you and your children should feel simple.
We’ve put together a guide to help people better choose their oral care products to support their oral health, from your toothpaste all the way down to your mouthwash. Here’s how to choose the best oral care products!
Look for Fluoride Toothpaste
Going with a fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance on it is your best bet to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride has many benefits for teeth. It helps strengthen tooth enamel and protects the teeth against tooth decay. For adults, fluoride toothpaste is essential, unless you have an allergy or have otherwise been directed not to use fluoride by your dentist.
Children can also benefit from fluoride. However, too much fluoride can cause children to develop what’s called dental fluorosis, which are irreversible white spots on the teeth.
Fortunately, visiting your dentist in Asheville can help you know if you and your children are getting the right amount of fluoride. Some patients live in areas where fluoride is added to the drinking water, and so may not need as much fluoride as patients who have no other source of fluoride.
Getting the right amount of fluoride is essential for both adults and children, so schedule an appointment with us to ensure your fluoride exposure is beneficial to your smile!
What About Mouthwash?
Many patients have questions about mouthwash whether or not it’s necessary and how it can help protect the teeth and gums.
Traditional mouthwash can help freshen breath and inhibit plaque growth, while mouth rinses such as fluoride rinses can help prevent tooth decay, especially in children. Again, looking for the ADA seal of acceptance when shopping for mouthwash is essential.
For most patients, whether or not you really need to use mouthwash is more of a personal preference. Some mouthwashes have benefits such as helping to prevent tooth decay and reducing surface stains on the teeth.
Your dentist in Asheville, Dr. Saunders, can recommend the use of mouthwash if he thinks it’s necessary, and may recommend fluoride rinses for young children that are susceptible to tooth decay and aren’t getting enough fluoride at home.
Generally, children younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol. If you’re interested in a mouthwash for your child, look for kid-friendly versions!
Picking the Right Floss
Flossing is integral to removing plaque, food debris, and bacteria from in-between your teeth. Without flossing, it’s estimated that you’re missing 40 percent of your tooth surfaces when cleaning your mouth.
So what type of floss is best for your smile?
Research has shown that there’s no difference between the efficacy of either waxed or unwaxed dental floss, so what product you choose really comes down to personal preference. There are many different kinds of floss, including flavored to help freshen your breath and even silk, which is a purportedly more eco-friendly floss of choice.
Choose the kind of floss that will motivate you to keep up with the habit at least once every day. For patients that have orthodontia or limited range of motion, water flossers can be excellent options for removing debris between teeth to keep your smile clean!
Other types of floss, including interdental cleaners, are also very helpful for those that have orthodontia. Similarly to other oral health products, you can look for the ADA seal of acceptance for your best picks!
Get a Softer Toothbrush
Most oral health experts agree a soft-bristled toothbrush is better for your teeth than one with stiff or firm bristles.
Why is this?
A toothbrush with harsher bristles can more easily damage tooth enamel. When brushing your teeth every day, the idea isn’t to brush so hard that it removes the protective layer over your teeth, your tooth enamel. Instead, gentle, more thorough brushing is what you should aim for.
Getting a soft-bristled toothbrush will help you be more easy on your teeth and prevent the enamel erosion that can come with years of harsh brushing with a stiff-bristled toothbrush. And, if your teeth or gums are already sensitive, harsh brushing can aggravate your smile even more.
But Wait Is Electric or Manual Better?
There is evidence supporting the use of an electric toothbrush for patients who have a history of gum disease and tooth decay. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to be better at removing plaque, and keeping the gumline clear of plaque buildup which can contribute to gum disease.
While any type of toothbrush will be better than no toothbrush, some people still prefer the manual option due to cost as well as traveling, as there are no chargers to pack when using a manual toothbrush.
No matter what type of toothbrush you use, just be sure to use it twice every day to clean your smile and keep cavities away! And you’ll still need to change your toothbrush (or, for electric options, the head of the toothbrush) approximately every three months to prevent fraying.
Have More Questions? Contact Us!
Regardless of what products you choose, maintaining your oral health has lasting benefits for both your smile and your body, as increasing evidence is showing. At Saunders DDS, we’re here to help you have healthy teeth and gums for life!
Our experienced team can help answer all your questions during your appointment with us. We’re a kid-friendly dentist in Asheville, and can help you and your family maintain your oral health and prevent cavities and gum disease.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling us at (828) 277-6060 or request an appointment here.