Taking great care of your smile can protect your health, improve your appearance, and save you big time on dental health expenses over the long term. Thanks to advances in dental science and commercial products in recent years, there are more tools than ever to help you care for your teeth. Today we discuss five excellent dental health products that can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come.
#1: Electric Toothbrush
Whether you’re a gadget fanatic or you prefer classic tools, you should seriously consider investing in an electric toothbrush. The Oral Health Foundation recommends electric toothbrushes as part of your dental routine, noting that a major study “found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush.”
The researchers found that people using electric toothbrushes had 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay over the 11-year course of the study. That adds up to a big difference in dental health, quality of life, and dental care expenses! Today, with the wide array of electric toothbrush options available in the market, there is something for everyone. From ultra-inexpensive battery-operated options that resemble a slightly thicker traditional toothbrush to elaborate systems with all the extra features, there are electric toothbrushes to fit every smile and budget. Talk to your family dentist for advice on the ideal type of electric toothbrush for you.
#2: Water Flosser
While you can safely toss your manual toothbrush and replace it with an electric version, a water flosser is typically an addition to your oral health routine, rather than a replacement for traditional floss. Old-fashioned floss is still considered the most effective way to remove plaque from between your teeth, but water flossing can offer additional benefits, like helping protect you from gum disease.
Water flossers can also be great for people who have difficulty using floss. For example, people with braces or bridges, or those who have periodontal disease may find water flossers are a beneficial alternative. Consult your family dentist about your particular dental health needs, and he or she can help you determine if a water flosser is right for you and your smile.
If you do decide to invest in a water flosser, consider looking for a model that combines an electric toothbrush with a water flosser.
#3: Tongue Scraper
Maybe you’re ultra-diligent about flossing twice daily. Maybe you’re a part of the nearly one-third of Americans who never floss. Either way, you know that taking care of your teeth and gums is important to your dental health. But what about your tongue? According to the Cleveland Clinic, proper tongue care can improve your sense of taste, cut down on bad breath, and remove harmful bacteria that can cause other more serious health problems down the road.
While maybe “tongue scraping” doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, it’s a simple, painless, and effective way to protect your dental health. A tongue scraper can be a reusable tool (easily available for a few dollars), or you can purchase disposable versions at any drug store. The tongue scraper simply helps you to remove more bacteria from your tongue as part of your oral care routine, further cutting down on the detrimental effects of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Ask your dentist about tongue scraping and how it compares to simply brushing your tongue.
Mouthwashes or rinses can be a valuable tool in your oral care routine. Mouthwashes are divided into two main categories: Therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic products are designed to have clinical effects by treating underlying causes, while cosmetic products have a temporary effect (like masking bad breath). Therapeutic mouthwashes are available both by prescription and over the counter and may contain active ingredients ranging from common dental suspects like fluoride to essential oils.
Mouthwashes can be designed to address several dental health concerns, from bad breath to tooth discoloration to gingivitis. If you currently use a mouth rinse, check with your family dentist at your next appointment to see if you are using the most appropriate option for your dental health needs. And always look for a mouthwash with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
#5: Mouth Guard
Do you grind your teeth or clench your jaw? Do you play contact sports? Do you have or think you may have sleep apnea or TMJ disorder? These are just a few scenarios in which a mouth guard could be beneficial.
Mouth guards are available in both over-the-counter and professionally-fitted versions. Getting a custom guard fitted by a dentist is more expensive than purchasing a one-size-fits-all or shape-at-home guard, but professionally fitted guards typically last longer and are more effective. Depending on your particular oral health needs, an over-the-counter guard could even make matters worse. Be sure to consult your family dentist for advice before you try an off-the-shelf product.
Which Dental Health Products are For You? Ask Your Family Dentist
Not sure which of these products, or which individual models, might be best for you and your dental health? Talk to your dentist at your next visit. If you are looking for a trusted provider of family dentistry services in Columbus, GA, reach out to Family Dentistry of Columbus. Our skilled team of dentists and dental professionals is here to help you make the best choices for your dental health.