How to level up your oral cleanliness

Imagine this scenario: A middle age lady spends about 20 minutes in total with her oral hygiene routine, using a toothbrush, interdental brush, floss and even mouth rinse. Still, when she goes for her annual dental checkup, the oral health is not satisfactory. Her dentist is unhappy with the results despite the effort she has put in.

What is going on?

These are the questions that might be going in your head when it comes to the daily products:
– What toothbrush size is most appropriate for me? Should I opt for the soft or hard bristles?
– Does everyone benefits from using mouth rinse and should I use one?
– I got floss recently but am unsure what is the best way to use it
– How do I clean my teeth effectively if I’m wearing braces?
– What is this new product ToothMoose that I keep hearing? What is the mechanism behind this new innovative product?
– Do I need to change from my manual toothbrush to an electric or sonic toothbrush?

As a consumer, some of the consumer dental products might be confusing. Also, you may have inquiries about those dental products, from toothbrush and floss to interdental brushes and mouth rinse. With the vast selection of consumer goods out there? How does one decide? Which products work and which ones are there because of the marketing hype?

In this article, you will learn the various oral hygiene tools out there and the basic usage of that equipment so that you can achieve maximum preventive care in your oral health.

We believe that education is the key. Education does two things:
1) enable you to decide for yourself which product suits you best
2) empower you to use the correct method to achieve maximum effectiveness with those tools

First, good oral hygiene habits start with proper toothbrushing. The goals of brushing are effective topical delivery of fluoride via the toothpaste and plaque removal. Most people do not practice their brushing technique, they’re either brushing the wrong way or are not spending sufficient time to do it. It is crucial that you brush for 2 minutes per session and in a rotational movement, not a horizontal fashion as that will cause abrasion of your teeth. One technique that is especially useful is the modified Stillman method, in which the bristles are directed apically. Dentists would recommend patients with hypersensitive gingiva or reduced interdental papilla to use it. Use the rolling stroke method while vibrating the bristles in a lateral motion.

Secondly, many people today skip their flossing, thinking that it is not necessary. What’s the big deal with flossing anyway? The fact is, people don’t realize food gets stuck in between the teeth and underneath the gums, in areas where the naked eye can’t see. You don;t see it doesn’t mean the plaque and food debris aren’t there. The mouth is the dirtiest part of the body and as the mouth is the gateway to the whole body, do take caution.

Thirdly, people that are compromised in their oral health ought to utilize some form of mouth rinse to provide maximum protection for their teeth. For example, those with episodes of recurrent ulcers of immunocompromised can benefit much from a mouth rinse, be it a commercial product such as Listerine or Colgate Plax, or just a mixture of salt water, aka saline. Gargle 2 or 3 times a day for best results. Do note that most mouthrinse brands should be used without any dilution. This is one of the common mistakes where people add water to the solution. Just use it straight from the bottle for the best effect.

In conclusion, the key to oral hygiene is education. As a reader of this blog, you have been taking steps to improve your oral health. Knowing is one thing, the next step is to ensure you turn that know-how into habits that will prevent the oral disease from happening in your mouth. A little step in preventive oral care can go a long way in ensuring you do not suffer from another toothache.

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