You have a toolbox in your garage for whenever you have a quick job around the house. So, why shouldn’t you have one for your oral hygiene? Our North York dentists list some essential dental items for your daily at-home routine.
Your Daily Oral Care Routine: Must-Have Tools to Get the Job Done
Take a look at the oral healthcare aisle in your local pharmacy and you’ll soon discover there are hundreds of products to choose from - which can make shopping a daunting task. Which of the many items available will really make a difference for you - and which can stay on the shelf?
To help you decide, we’ve come up with a list of 7 essential dental hygiene materials that should be in any medicine cabinet.
What to Know Before Shopping
Before spending your hard-earned money, look for the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal, which indicates the oral health benefit claims made by a manufacturer have been independently reviewed and are supported with scientific evidence.
Here are 7 important materials you’ll need to complete your oral hygiene routine:
You’ll notice toothbrushes come in 3 types: soft, medium and hard. While medium-bristled and hard-bristled brushes can be harsh on sensitive gums, a softer brush can give you the thorough cleaning you’ll need without the irritation.
You’ll want to brush in mild circular motions - no “sawing” motions across your teeth. To be safe, you might consider choosing an electric toothbrush, which may also be more convenient for people who suffer from arthritis or other conditions that impact hand coordination.
No matter which type of toothbrush you choose, ensure its size and shape fits your mouth properly, so brushing will be easy and comfortable.
Check to make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and strong, so dental decay will be kept at bay. You may also find some toothpastes that contain ingredients to fight bad breath (halitosis), hardened plaque (tartar), gingivitis and tooth sensitivity. Additives such as whitening ingredients may also be included, but these can degrade the tooth enamel.
Mouthwashes can be targeted to combat different dental issues, such as fighting gingivitis and plaque. Others have fluoride to help you win the battle against cavities. Mouthwash offers an extra layer of protection, along with brushing and flossing.
Speaking of flossing, dental floss is another essential item for your dental routine. You’ll find two varieties: waxed and unwaxed. Waxed floss works better if you’ve got tight spaces between your teeth. Some floss is even flavoured to make flossing more bearable.
We recommend flossing once daily to dislodge debris that you may not be able to remove with a toothbrush. Flossing helps prevent plaques, gum disease and risk of cavities.
Ideal for people with fixed partial dentures or for teens with braces, this device shoots a continuous stream of water into your mouth to remove food debris that might be caught in those hard-to-reach areas of your teeth. Make sure you select a device that lets you regulate water pressure.
Tongue scrapers can help to reduce bad breath by killing the bacteria that attach to the tongue and cause odours.
Dental Picks & Sticks
If you find using dental floss difficult, you can still eliminate plaque with interdental cleaning aids. These items include mini brushes, picks and sticks to clean your teeth. Ensure you do not apply too much force when trying to get between your teeth.
All of the tools on this list can help but should not be used as substitutes for your twice-yearly dental cleanings. Though your teeth may feel great, most dental issues are invisible. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup. We can also offer advice and answer any questions you may have about which dental items you should invest in.