Best Dental Products: Tips From Our Dentists
Make informed CHOICES for your mouth.
“There are so many ways to have a clean and healthy mouth. There is no one-size-fits-all protocol. Different mouths need different protocols. Keep your habits simple and effective!”
Is there a “best” toothbrush to use?
The best toothbrush is one that you use twice a day with proper technique. We like the sonic motions of the electric toothbrushes. It simply gets your teeth cleaner with less harm to your gums. And don’t forget to hold the electric brush steady and let the bristles do the work — not your arm.
If you use a manual brush, make sure the bristles are soft. We love sustainable handles, made from materials like bamboo or recycled yogurt cups. That said, many of our patients do really enjoy the cleanings they get from electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes are powerful (but gentle) and have a variety of modes that make them easy to use. But if you prefer a manual brush, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just select one that has soft bristles.
What’s the right way to brush my teeth?
This is a little tricky to explain in writing (we’ll show you at your next appointment!), but here goes:
- Hold the brush at a slight angle and brush gently, making sure you brush along the gumline
- Focus on one quadrant of your mouth at a time and make sure to brush all the surfaces of your teeth, tops, sides, backs, etc.
- Brush for 2 minutes twice a day —ideally after breakfast and right before bed.
- If you’re a believer in mindfulness, make this time a 2-minute meditation. Try to ONLY think about brushing your teeth for 2 minutes — don’t let your mind wander. It’s hard to do!
How do I clean between my teeth? Which brand of floss should I buy and how often should I use it?
Floss is one method to clean between your teeth, but there are others. If you have successfully created a habit of flossing, use whatever keep you flossing! Clean the tooth above the gums, and “hug” the tooth to clean under the gums without being too rough. Use floss that you find comfortable and easy to use. Watch out for over-processed and potentially toxic materials found in some flosses. Avoid floss that contains Teflon or any petroleum products.
The best waxed flosses use natural lubricants like coconut oil or beeswax. But unwaxed vs. waxed doesn’t make a huge difference. If you’re flossing daily (or after meals when you have something stuck in your teeth), you’re ahead of the game!
If you want other ideas to clean between your teeth we like Stim-u Dents and soft picks. Grin makes floss on a handle made from cornstarch so no plastic waste! Ask us which options might be right for you during your next exam and cleaning.
Should I use mouthwash?
Alcohol-based mouthwashes can actually dry out the mouth. This is why many people are choosing non-alcohol mouth rinses or are turning to oil pulling.
But honestly, the truth is that you don’t need mouthwash. Mouthwashes that advertise their antibacterial properties are actually doing you a disservice. The majority of the bacteria in your mouth are beneficial and essential to your health. You don’t want to kill them!
Never buy mouthwashes with these ingredients:
- Chlorine Dioxide
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Poloxamer 407
If you’re worried about bad breath, a xylitol (sugar-free) mint can freshen your breath and help reduce dry mouth, too. But chronic bad breath is a symptom you should talk to your dentist about. It might be a sign of a bacterial imbalance or possibly tooth decay.
Should I use fluoride toothpaste?
This is a tricky subject. For decades, the medical establishment has considered fluoride to be the best way to strengthen teeth, particularly in children. Today, there seems to be an equally good option, hydroxyapatite.
Hydroxyapatite is a 100% non-toxic chemical that strengthens teeth in much the same way that fluoride does. Hydroxyapatite is a form of calcium that is absorbed by the teeth and remineralizes them.
Do I need to scrape my tongue?
Don’t forget to scrape your tongue. If you have a problem with bad breath, this is where it is coming from. Scape it every day. It’s convenient to keep a tongue scraper in the shower. They come in many different styles, find one that works. We like the wider models with a deep groove, as the really small ones tend to break. There are more expensive metal ones that are great too.
When you see the film of slime that you remove, you’ll know you have a cleaner mouth.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
If you have chronic sensitive teeth, we should try to figure out why. Teeth should not be chronically sensitive.
- Is something in your diet causing it?
- Are you brushing in a manner that is exposing sensitive root surfaces?
- Is a filling chipped?
Toothpaste made for ‘sensitive teeth’ blocks up tiny tubules in your roots to reduce sensitivity. So they work if the source of the problem is root exposure. If the source is something else, it will not make a difference. If you choose a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, we like RiseWell.
Just switched to this practice…10/10 for office environment, updated technology and processes, staff knowledge and demeanor, and efficiency.
– Sarah H.
Make the right choice
Schedule your new patient appointment today and see what integrative dentistry is all about. Start on the path to lifelong dental health and wellness.
Are you interested in a second opinion? Call our office (312) 368-8771.