First off is the Sonicare Flex Care or Diamond Clean electric toothbrush. This is a great product for people who no longer have the dexterity to brush properly, brush too aggressively, build up significant plaque or tartar, have periodontal issues or have hard to clean restorative work. The Sonicare toothbrush works by using sonic technology to drive fluid and toothpaste in between teeth and gums. It has a built-in timer so you know you have brushed for a full 2 minutes and if you press too hard the brush will stop working to prevent recession. The toothbrush does all the work for you, leaving you with a much cleaner feeling mouth. This Sonicare will cost you over $100 compared to a Spinbrush for under $10 but I guarantee you will notice a huge difference!
An interdental brush, like the Proxybrush, is a great tool for removing food caught between your teeth due to spacing, recession, or exposed roots. This small brush resembles a tiny Christmas tree on the end of a wire that can bend to fit between teeth to clean out any food particles or plaque. There are travel sized versions for your purse or pocket and designs that are on a toothbrush handle for at home use. This is not a substitute for flossing but an adjunct.
Now I know everyone reading this article flosses daily, right? Okay, who am I kidding! If you don’t, or you suffer from periodontal disease or have bridgework or braces that are difficult to floss between, then a waterpik is a great alternative for you. This device pressurizes water in a pulsed mode to remove plaque, food and debris, and can reduce bacteria effectively to 6mm in periodontal pockets. I recommend the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser model, which has 10 power settings, an ergonomic handle and a variety of accessories. There are battery operated and travel models but some patients complain they lack power.
Another dental hygiene product that combats bad breath unsolved by brushing and flossing is a tongue cleaner, like the Orabrush. This brush has soft bristles and a scraper that reaches into the uneven areas of your tongue, removing bacteria that can account for 80-90% of bad breath. Try using one of these if you notice a broad white or greenish discoloration on the top of your tongue, as it may be due to bacteria.
For those patients with tooth sensitivity on teeth without decay or disease, Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste may be the answer to your needs. This is a strong fluoride toothpaste that is pH neutral and contains potassium nitrate to prevent sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, sweetness, or acidity in foods and drinks. It works by strengthening damaged enamel and buffering saliva to prevent acidic attacks from weakening teeth. You should have regularly scheduled dental cleanings and check-ups to ensure that sensitivity is not attributed to more serious problems.
Almost everyone wants a whiter smile! One of the best options for over the counter teeth whitening is Crest 3D White Strips, Professional Effects. The main whitening component in these strips is a hydrogen peroxide gel that will not harm your enamel. The cellophane strips are worn for two hours at a time, every day for 1 week. While this takes longer and the results are not as significant as in office whitening or custom made bleaching trays and gel, they only cost $50-60. So you get a lot of bang for your buck and if you still need better results, you haven’t invested too much money.
I hope these recommendations will help you better your oral hygiene and select products from the store that actually work well. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Also, you always get what you pay for…so a cheap product or dentistry will likely not meet your expectations or last. If you have any questions about these dental products or others you may use, feel free to contact my office.
Helping you smile with confidence.