Keeping your mouth clean and healthy should be an easy and simple thing. However, with all the dental products on the market, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be using. If you have found yourself wandering the toothpaste aisle with no idea which kind of toothpaste or toothbrush to find, read on to find out what to look for in these products.
When selecting a toothpaste, fluoride concentration and abrasiveness of the toothpaste are two of the most important factors to consider.
- Fluoride is an important mineral for your teeth. Fluoride binds to the tooth’s enamel and strengthens it, providing a layer of defense against sugar and acid that can cause tooth decay. While fluoride use does not guarantee that you will never have another cavity, using a toothpaste with fluoride as an active ingredient can help to make the enamel less prone to decay. If you have a small child, wait until he or she is old enough to spit properly before introducing a toothpaste containing fluoride, as it can cause stomach upset if swallowed.
- Toothpastes that boast whitening ability are often helpful to remove surface stains on the teeth caused by drinking dark beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda. However, using a toothpaste that is too abrasive every day can break down the enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. These products can often be used in conjunction with a toothpaste formulated for sensitivity for maximum comfort.
When considering what type of toothbrush to use, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use a soft bristle toothbrush. Medium to hard bristles are not recommended because they are often too abrasive for your gums. Unless otherwise instructed by your dentist because of special circumstances, choose a soft bristle to protect your gums.
- Power, or electric toothbrushes, can be a great tool for cleaning around the teeth and gums. These brushes can easily be guided along the teeth to remove plaque and harmful bacteria. These brushes are also great for those who have problems gripping a regular toothbrush because they often have a larger and wider handle.
- Choose a brush head that is the appropriate size for your mouth. Ideally, you will be able to fit the brush head to your very back teeth to effectively clean them.
Choosing the right toothpaste and brush involves knowing what your specific dental needs are. At your routine examination with your family dentist, speak up and ask what paste and brush he or she recommends for keeping your mouth healthy.
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