As hygiene becomes paramount during COVID, it is crucial to keep up with your dental care. However, finding the right oral hygiene products to suit your needs can be tough. To make this process easier, we have shortlisted the best and must have oral hygiene products with the help of dentists, Dr Divya Bhargava and Dr Nadia Davachi.
- ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES
- FLOSSING TO IMPROVE DENTAL CARE
- INTERDENTAL BRUSHES
- ORAL IRRIGATORS
- TONGUE SCRAPERS
- TEETH POLISHING
- TEETH WHITENING
- OIL PULLING: TREND OR FAD FOR DENTAL CARE?
- DENTAL CARE: THE TAKEAWAY
In This Article:
The purpose of oral hygiene is to remove or prevent formation and buildup of tartar and plaque. Cleaning the mouth and teeth of food debris prevents dental caries and periodontal disease which may help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, diabetes and more.Did You Know Poor Dental Health Leads To Unhealthy Heart Click To Tweet
It is important to brush your teeth two times a day and to buy a new brush every 2-3 months, when the bristles begin to fray. In addition, the rule of thumb is to replace brushes after any illness as your toothbrush can harbour bacteria which can easily reinfect you.
However, if you are looking for more colourful and fun toothbrushes for your children in order to encourage their brushing habits, take a look at our favourites below.
Similar to the manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes must also have soft bristles. Electric toothbrushes can be easier to use and have shown to reduce plaque buildup by a considerable amount in comparison to manual toothbrushes. Power toothbrushes are more effective in encouraging better dental care because of their various features. For example, some power brushes have timers to ensure the proper amount of brushing time, whereas some have sensors that alert when there is too much pressure on your teeth in order to avoid abrasion.
Oral B has recently released a new product called the iO series, which includes advanced artificial intelligence (AI), interactive display and more. Electric toothbrushes have Oscillation (Rotating) action which has proven to be very effective in increasing oral health.
These electric toothbrush brands are both approved by the ADA.
However, if you are concerned about price, a manual toothbrush can give you the same results as long as the American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines for brushing are followed. Like the manual toothbrushes, the brush head of electric toothbrushes must be changed every 2-3 months.
There is a large variety of toothbrushes in the market and it may be difficult to choose one. However, any toothpaste is as effective as the other as long as it has the mandated amount of fluoride in the product.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that prevents cavities and tooth decay. The normal amount of fluoride in toothpastes is roughly 1,350 to 1,500ppm, although it may be higher if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay. Some recommended toothpastes are Colgate and AquaFresh.
If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to use these instead.
Mouthwashes are not substitutes for brushing and should be used only as an adjunct. Medicated Mouthwash like Betadine and Chlorhexidine are mostly used to decrease bacteria in your mouth. They can reduce inflammation, swelling, and bleeding from gingivitis.
Non-medicated mouthwash can be used as a part of your daily oral health routine to keep your mouth fresh. Mouthwashes contain antibacterial ingredients to help reduce plaque and prevent gum disease. They also contain fluoride. According to the experts, these are the best mouth washing products to improve your dental care.
FLOSSING TO IMPROVE DENTAL CARE
Flossing is something that is commonly forgotten as an aspect of dental care, but is very important. Dental Flossing helps to remove food particles and plaque from between your pearly whites and under the gumline. Teeth can decay and gum disease can develop when plaque isn’t removed. Dental floss is generally recommended when the gap between your teeth is tight and snug. The most popular dental floss is from Colgate and Oral B.
Ensure that you’re flossing correctly by looking at this video below.
Dr. Davachi also recommends interdental brushes as they are “absolutely critical along with a manual toothbrush for good and effective oral hygiene.” It is used to remove plaque where there is spacing between teeth and reduce bleeding gums. There are different types and sizes of interdental brushes and your dentist can recommend the most suitable one for you.
Using an oral irrigator or a waterpik is a method used to remove food in between teeth by steadily spraying water. It can be used as a more simple substitute for Flossing. Dr. Nadia Davachi suggests the Sonic Fusion WaterPick. According to DentistryToday, in comparison to regular string floss, it is 50% more effective in improving oral health and your overall dental care.
Tongue scrapers are used to remove extra particles from the tongue, including the ones that cause bad breath. These devices can be made from plastic, copper or stainless steel. This can give you improved taste, fresher breath and an improved overall health.
When layers of plaque build up on teeth, they harden and form a tough mineral substance called tartar, also referred to as calculus. Bacteria can live within tartar and cause dental diseases. A dentist removes tartar in a procedure called scaling. After scraping off the hard tartar with special instruments, the dentist polishes the teeth. Dental polishing can remove surface stains on teeth and leave them shiny and smooth. It is usually done using a small, soft rubber cup and polishing paste.
Dentists choose between fine, medium, and coarse grit pastes to fill the rubber cup that delivers the paste to the tooth surface. Coarse and medium pastes are most effective at removing surface stains. However, they can also microscopically scratch and roughen the tooth enamel, making it easier to develop stains later. Fine pastes are less damaging and create a more highly polished finish, but sometimes can be less effective at removing deeply embedded stains. Your dentist can also use an air-polishing procedure to polish your teeth.
In case you wish to do this on your own, there are electric teeth polishing kits available on Amazon which gently and effectively remove tough surface stains from smoking, coffee, tea, wine and food that normal brushing doesn’t remove.
Recently, teeth whitening has become exceedingly popular all over the world as a form of dental care. As a result, many different methods (natural and chemical) of teeth whitening have been brought to light. With the help of dentists, Dr. Davachi and Dr. Bhargava, we can help you make an informed decision on which method you should try.
Dental Care: Chemical Methods
Bleaching is a way to whiten your teeth. Risks associated with tooth whitening include tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Dentists may be able to predict if you will have problems with or sensitivities to the procedure. They also may be able to help you alleviate sensitivity by recommending certain procedures and toothpastes designed to treat sensitive teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are active bleaching ingredients commonly used as a teeth whitening solution. In Singapore, selling teeth whitening products or services are not limited to dentists, and can be done over the counter as well. However, the Ministry Of Health (MOH) has regulated that “as long as the concentration of hydrogen peroxide or other similar chemicals present in a finished oral hygiene product is less than or equal to 0.1%, it will be allowed for sale to the public.”
The 3D Crest Whitening Strips is one of the safest and effective whitening products in the United States, but is unfortunately unavailable in stores in Singapore. However, it may be available for purchase online. If you are very interested in whitening your teeth, it is best to consult your dentist.
Dental Care: Natural Methods
There have also been a large number of DIY techniques that have risen in popularity. For example, the concept of brushing your teeth using baking soda. It is alkaline and has abrasive properties and is also found as an ingredient in some toothpastes. Dr. Bhargava warns that too much baking soda can be harmful to your enamel, so it is important to find the quantity where it is both safe and effective.
If you are looking for a more simple and basic approach to teeth whitening, you may want to consider using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one. Dr. Davachi says that a study done recently shows that electric toothbrushes are 90% more effective at stain removal than conventional manual toothbrushes.
OIL PULLING: TREND OR FAD FOR DENTAL CARE?
Oil pulling is the latest trend in oral hygiene.
What is it? Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment involving swishing oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 15 minutes. It is said to remove mouth bacteria which can help prevent diseases and reduce gum inflammation.
What do the experts think? Although Oil Pulling has not shown to have significant side effects, it may cause a slight headache because of the swishing action for an extended period of time. Both our dentists believe that while oil pulling isn’t harmful, it wouldn’t be their first choice of recommendation because there are other more reliable options. It is also crucial to note that oil pulling is not a substitute for brushing your teeth and flossing.
DENTAL CARE: THE TAKEAWAY
With these ‘must have’ oral hygiene products, you will be able to improve and maintain your oral health. Remember to go for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months, but most importantly, brush your teeth everyday and don’t forget to floss! Stay Healthy and Smile Confidently.
Let us know in the comment section below which products are your personal favourites! If you enjoyed this article and want to view more, visit our health and wellness section.