Oral & Vision Health Blog

Tips on Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are a lot of oral hygiene products on the market, and it can be hard to know which ones to choose for you and your family's specific needs. Just looking at the oral hygiene section in the drugstore can be overwhelming—just for the sheer number of products available without even getting into what uses they have. Read on for some tips on choosing the best toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes and flosses for you! 

Toothbrushes. The easiest way to find a toothbrush that is safe and effective is to look for the seal of the American Dental Association. Once you've found that seal, what remains is personal preference. The ADA recommends you choose a toothbrush that you will find easy to use twice a day to remove food and plaque from your teeth. Looking for a toothbrush in you or your child's favorite color is a great place to start. Then consider head shape and bristle firmness. If you suffer from gingivitis, a soft-bristled toothbrush is best because it will be less irritating to your gums. The ADA endorses both manual and powered toothbrushes. You may like to consider a powered toothbrush for your child. They might have more fun brushing with a powered toothbrush, which can make it easier to convince them to brush twice a day as the ADA recommends. Whatever type of toothbrush you choose, be sure to replace it every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles start to look worn. 

Toothpaste. Another important part of an oral hygiene routine is toothpaste. You should also look for the ADA seal when choosing a toothpaste. There are many options for toothpaste available and you should choose one depending on your personal needs. It doesn't matter what brand you choose as long as it has the ADA seal. Whitening toothpastes are popular and use a mild abrasive like baking soda to remove stains on the surface of your teeth. Some also contain hydrogen peroxide to gently bleach your teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, gingivitis or other oral issues, try a toothpaste made especially for your condition. For small children who might still swallow the toothpaste, a toothpaste without added fluoride is the best way to go. Toothpastes with only natural ingredients are available for people who prefer to avoid chemicals. The most popular toothpaste flavor is mint, but there are also berry, cinnamon, citrus and herbal flavored toothpastes available. 

Mouthwash. When considering a mouthwash, it should come as no surprise that the ADA seal is the first thing you should look for. Like toothpastes, there are many kinds of mouthwashes that are tailored to different oral needs. The purpose of a mouthwash is to decrease bacteria in the mouth after brushing. Bacteria eating the stuff left on your teeth is what causes cavities, so if you don't currently use mouthwash in your oral care routine, it may be time to add it! Most mouthwashes use alcohol to kill off germs. Some may use other germ-killing ingredients. If you have children, there are alcohol-free mouthwashes made especially for kids in many different flavors and bottle designs. 

Dental floss. Dental floss helps to remove bits of food and plaque from between your teeth, and is an important part of an oral care routine. Most people are familiar with the box of waxed, minty floss that you wrap around your fingers and slide between your teeth. However, there are also floss picks which you might find easier to use. You simply hold the plastic part of the pick in your fingers and slide the floss end between your teeth. 

No matter what products you choose to use in your oral health routine, if you remember these tips for a clean, healthy mouth: 

  • Look for the ADA seal of approval
  • Choose products you like and will want to use
  • Brush and rinse twice a day and floss at least once a day

You will be on your way to great oral health in no time between these tips and regular oral health evaluations

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