Your Ultimate Oral Care Tools Checklist for the New Year
Oral Care Tools You Need in 2022
New Year, new you, and new(ish) oral care tools! You probably have your new 2022 toothbrush all ready to go, but our list has some great tips on how to make the best choices based on product features and your individual needs. Hold on to your floss and mouthwashes everyone; it’s going to be an interesting read!
Now, it would be wrong of us to start this checklist of oral care tools any other way than with the biggest player in the dental hygiene game: the toothbrush. You probably already know the basics of brushing teeth, but a workman is only as good as his tools, so it’s also important that you choose the right toothbrush to give your teeth and gums the best possible care.
Always choose a soft-bristled brush with a medium to small head and a comfortable handle. Part of the reason for this is that a small-headed brush gives you better access to hard to reach areas of your mouth, and the soft bristles will clean your teeth without irritating your gums or contributing to a receding gumline.
The choice of whether or not to go for an electric toothbrush lies solely on your personal preference and hand dexterity. An electric toothbrush may make teeth cleaning easy and comfortable for people who have arthritis or any other health condition that affects their hands.
One ingredient everyone needs their toothpaste to have is fluoride. This mineral will help make your enamel stronger and more resistant to decay. As long as the brand you choose doesn’t add sugar or artificial colors, everything else in your toothpaste is a matter of personal preference.
You’ll need to tread carefully when picking a toothpaste with whitening properties, though. Some of them may be too abrasive and cause enamel erosion. To be on the safe side, choose a whitening toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval. It may also help to have a chat with your dentist about in-office whitening alternatives that are much safer for your teeth.
Dental Floss, Picks, and Sticks
To maintain healthy teeth, you must clean every surface of the enamel. That’s where floss comes in. You’ll use this oral care tool to remove food particles and plaque bacteria from the areas between your teeth and underneath your gums, where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you find that regular floss slides in and out very easily for you, you may need to get a thicker floss (usually branded as “tape” or “super”) to make sure you’re actually cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth. A thinner floss is only ideal for people who have very tight spaces between their teeth.
Whether or not you should go for waxed or unwaxed floss largely depends on which one you like more. People who wear braces normally prefer waxed floss because it’s less likely to get tangled in the metal brackets and wires. If you have a harder time knowing when you’re done flossing, the squeaking sound unwaxed floss makes when your teeth are clean can make it easier to know when to stop.
Not sure you’re flossing properly? Interdental cleaning aids like dental picks and sticks don’t require a lot of hand maneuvering to clean the spaces between the teeth.
A tongue scraper is another important tool in your oral care arsenal. It may help remove bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue, opening up the pores on your tongue and allowing you to enjoy your food more. So while using your toothbrush to clean your tongue may be a good alternative, it’s more effective to use a tongue scraper instead. Choose one that lies flat on your tongue to make it easier to clean the back of your tongue without gagging.
A mouthwash is the next best way to clean your tongue if you’d rather not have something physically scrape the muscular organ. Different mouthwashes typically tackle different oral issues. Many people experiencing mild or temporary bad breath can benefit from cosmetic mouth rinses; they’re made primarily to mask mouth odor.
Sometimes bad breath is an early sign of excessive mouth bacteria, gingivitis, gum disease, or other oral health issues. For such cases, you’d be better off with an antibacterial mouthwash. You should also talk to your dentist to find out the underlying cause of your halitosis and start treatment right away before the situation gets out of hand.
The Best Hill Country Dentist to Care for Your Teeth
Not only will the team at our Lakeway, Texas, dental office offer advice on how to choose the right oral care tools to meet your needs, we can also help you maintain your oral health through routine teeth cleaning and dental checkups. Schedule your appointment today and let’s start off the new year with a healthy smile.