St. Paul Family Dentist Reviews Oral Hygiene Aids

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Most people know that in maintaining excellent oral health requires routine dental checkups. Professional cleanings twice yearly with your Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist can remove a high percentage of disease-causing bacteria and plaque, but you must combine professional dental care with proper daily oral hygiene. Here are some of the most useful oral hygiene aids:

Dental Flosses
Dental floss is the most common interdental cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavors. Dental floss is effective at removing food particles and plaque from between teeth. Floss should normally be used twice daily after brushing.

Interdental Cleaners
In addition to dental floss, many hygienists and periodontists recommend interdental brushes in addition to dental floss. Interdental brushes come in various shapes and sizes, and they are very effective in cleaning between the gums.

Mouth Rinses

Cosmetic rinses sold over the counter only temporarily mask bad breath. Therapeutic rinses, however, are regulated by the FDA and contain active ingredients that can help reduce bad breath, plaque, and cavities. Mouth rinses should generally be used after brushing.

Oral Irrigators
Oral irrigators (like Water Jets and Waterpiks) clean debris from below the gum line. Oral irrigators are effective in lowering the risk of gum disease but should not be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing.

Rubber Tip Stimulators
Excellent for removing plaque around the gum line, rubber tip stimulators also increase blood flow to the gums. Trace gently around the inner and outer gumline at least once daily. To ensure its effectiveness, replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn.

Tongue Cleaners
Tongue cleaners (or scrapers) are designed to remove bacterial buildup from the tongue. Bacteria colonize on the tongue, causing bad breath and other systemic diseases. Use the tongue cleaner prior to brushing.

Toothbrushes
Dentists usually recommend electric toothbrushes as the vibrating or rotary motion helps remove plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. They also require far less effort than a manual toothbrush.

Replace manual toothbrushes every three months since worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are easier on sensitive gum tissue than medium and hard bristle varieties. Teeth should be brushed after each meal, or at least twice each day.

If you are uncertain as to which of these aids are the best for you, check with St. Paul Dentistry during your next visit, and we’ll be happy to guide through selecting the best products for your situation.