A toothbrush, floss, and maybe mouthwash. That’s all you need for a healthy mouth, right?
Not exactly! Of course your mouth is cleanest when you first leave the Forster Dental Centre office after your regular dental exam and cleaning.
But now you can help maintain that same clean feeling at home, as well. Of course, you should never use your own cleaning at home as a substitute for a professional dental cleaning, but you can use OTC dental “tools” to take even better care of your mouth in between visits to your Forster Dental Centre clinic.
The question is, which tools should you use?
Well, we’re here to offer you some options! Let’s take a look.
8 Dental Home Tools For a Better Smile
Electric Toothbrush: This is, perhaps, the number one option for at-home dental care
An electric toothbrush can also benefit the following people with a more complete, effective brushing:
- The young and old: kids and seniors can sometimes have trouble brushing thoroughly with a manual toothbrush
- People with braces or dental appliances: electrical toothbrushes can clean in and around metal brackets and wires
- Ineffective brushers: If you’re not effectively removing enough plaque with a manual toothbrush, your dentist may suggest you use an electronic toothbrush
- People who have difficulty using their hands
Zip Rings: Zip Rings let you control floss using only a single finger. It halves the amount of floss wasted and also eliminates the difficulty and makes it easy to floss those difficult-to-reach locations. One of these two interchangeable, reusable rings holds a two-week supply of dental floss while the other collects the used floss.
Interdental brushes: Interdental brushes are comprised of a handle and a thin bristled flossing head, which is easier to use than traditional floss. These are great for people with joint or mobility problems that can make flossing with conventional dental floss quite difficult.
Mouth mirrors. Though these elongated mirrors work indirectly, they’re useful in revealing areas you may be missing with your routine brushing and flossing. Mirrors can also reveal discolouration or the presence of some cavities.
Dental Plaque Staining:Who thought stained your teeth would be a good thing? Well, if the stain is temporary it can be quite helpful. Dental plaque staining helps you identify areas you may be missing in your daily brushing and flossing by revealing them in stains!
At-home plaque staining kits usually contain chewable tablets that can be spread around the surfaces of the teeth with saliva. After chewing and spreading the tablets on the surfaces of your teeth and rinsing, you look for stained areas when you smile (A dental mirror can be a useful assistant in this task).
Toothbrush sanitizer. Many of us keep our toothbrush in the bathroom, a room that can be full of bacteria and germs. The answer to this is a toothbrush sanitizer. Sanitizers are about the size of a normal travel toothbrush cases, but they are able to kill up to 99% of the bacteria on your toothbrush.
Tongue scraper. While some people use tongue scrapers to beat bad breath, a scraper’s main job is to loosen food debris and bacteria from your tongue. While a toothbrush is good at cleaning teeth, the surface of your tongue is very different from that of your teeth, and many people gag when they try to clean it with a toothbrush. A tongue scraper can provide a more thorough and comfortable tongue cleaning.
Toothbrush timer app. There’s an app for everything, and toothbrushing is no different. Android and iPhone apps can help you time your brushing, and even lead you through the steps of a proper brushing.
Tools you should NOT use
Whatever you do, please do not use the following instruments in your dental hygiene:
Over-the-counter scalers (or anything that claims to remove plaque and tartar). These tools are outright dangerous – your teeth can be chipped, your gums can be irritated, your teeth can become sensitive, and your gums could develop abscesses.
Hard-bristled toothbrushes. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can damage your teeth and gums. Many people think hard bristles remove plaque more efficiently, but that is not so. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are just as safe and effective, and they don’t damage gums or abrade enamel.
Products that are not approved by the ADA. The Australian Dental Association seal of approval means a product is safe and effective. If a product does not have this stamp, don’t buy it.
Your Local Dentist – Forster Dental Centre
At Forster Dental Centre, we provide each patient with the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for life! We provide an extensive range of dental services from preventative dentistry to restorative dental options along with the latest in cosmetic dentistry solutions for straighter and whiter teeth.
We pride ourselves on listening to the needs and concerns of all our patients and aim to provide you with the personalised attention you and your family deserves.