Oral Hygiene Tools
Taking care of your mouth is essential for preventing serious oral health issues and keeping your mouth healthy and happy. Your home oral hygiene routine is a major part of maintaining optimal oral health. A good oral hygiene routine includes brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Oral hygiene is more than about these actions, however. It is also about using the right tools. Watermark Dentistry is here to help.
Regular vs. Electric Toothbrush
Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and bacteria buildup from your teeth, so long as you brush properly, and for the recommended two minutes. The choice is really up to you. A manual toothbrush is more accessible as well as more affordable. However, many people tend to brush too hard, which can hurt both your gums and your teeth. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, is more effective at removing plaque and easier for those with manual dexterity issues to use. The biggest downside to these toothbrushes is the cost. Prices range between $15 and over $200, with replacement heads ranging from $10 to $45. Disposable electric toothbrushes cost between $5 and $8 in addition to the cost of the batteries needed to operate them.
Soft Bristle vs. Hard Bristle Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are available with different types of bristles, including soft and hard. Generally speaking, we recommend using toothbrushes with soft bristles. They are the most comfortable. They are also the safest to use, especially if you tend to brush a bit vigorously. Brushing too hard with hard bristles can damage your gums and your tooth enamel. If you use soft bristles, your risk of damage decreases.
Regular Floss vs. Floss Pick
Regular floss has a long history of use. It is excellent for removing plaque, bacteria, and other debris from between your teeth. However, if you have issues with manual dexterity, such as arthritis, using regular floss can be difficult, making it impossible to properly floss your teeth. Floss picks are small, plastic, disposable tools that hold a short length of floss. Many individuals prefer floss picks because they are easier to use. This can be especially beneficial for those with mobility issues. They are just about as effective as regular floss. The one major downside is that you want to use a new section of floss for each space, requiring you to use several floss picks.
Alcohol-Free vs. Alcohol Mouthwash
Alcohol mouthwash has alcohol as one of its main ingredients. Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol unless they are marketed toward children. These mouthwashes often give a burning sensation that helps people think that they are getting their mouths clean. This burn, however, might not always be a good thing. Alcohol-free mouthwashes are a bit more difficult to find. If you want a mouthwash without alcohol, unless you are buying for your child, you will have to do a bit of searching. While not as popular, there are a few reasons to opt for alcohol-free, including dry mouth, maintaining a proper balance of bacteria, and alcoholism.
Sugar-Free vs. Regular Toothpaste
Your toothpaste is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. There is more to toothpaste, however, than just its flavor. One of these options to choose from is sugar-free vs. regular toothpaste. Often, we recommend sticking with a toothpaste that does not contain any sugars. Sugar provides food for oral bacteria. As bacteria eat sugar, they produce harmful acids that can lead to cavities and gum disease. It can throw off the pH balance in your mouth. It may also cause issues for those with diabetes. While sugar might provide flavor, sugar-free options get their flavors from sweetening agents like saccharin or sorbitol. Because they do not contain sugar, they do not provide food for bacteria and will not contribute to tooth decay or periodontal disease. With the right tools, you can keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful.
For more information on oral hygiene tools, and which ones are right for you, call Watermark Dentistry at (206) 242-5808 today.