Daily dental hygiene tips you can use at home.
When buying a toothbrush, you’ll see hard, medium, and soft bristles. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled and even medium-bristled toothbrushes are too abrasive on your gums. You can also consider an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush can also make brushing easier for people who have arthritis or another health condition that affects the hands. Whether manual or powered, your toothbrush should be a size and shape that fit in your mouth well so that teeth cleaning is comfortable and easy.
Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Many toothpastes also have ingredients that fight tooth sensitivity, gingivitis (early-stage gum disease), bad breath, or hardened plaque called tartar.
Toothpastes that have additives, such as whitening agents, can break down tooth enamel. Ask your dentist for recommendations on the best toothpaste for your specific oral health needs.
Flossing is a must for healthy teeth. For healthy teeth, you should floss at least once a day, and Chase recommends using floss at least twice a day. Flossing removes food particles trapped between teeth that your toothbrush misses, helping to reduce plaque and the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental floss comes waxed and unwaxed. If your teeth are tightly spaced, waxed floss or flossing tape may glide between them more easily. Floss also comes in flavors to make flossing feel like less of a chore. If you have a preferred brand, stick with it because you’re more likely to use it.
Dental picks and sticks
If you have trouble using dental floss, interdental (between the teeth) cleaning aids can help remove plaque. These products include picks, sticks, and mini-brushes to get between and around teeth. Make sure you can gently get between your teeth and under your gum line with the product you choose.
The best way to whiten your teeth is to visit your dentist, where you can get a product with a custom fit tray. Teeth whiteners use peroxide solutions to actually bleach teeth. You can also try an over-the-counter product, such as whitening strips.
Different mouthwashes tackle different dental problems. Some help reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis; others contain fluoride to help fight cavities. Some can control or mask bad breath.
If you have difficulty brushing and flossing, a mouthwash may provide additional protection against cavities and gum disease.