Oral Hygiene Aids
Regular dental check ups are essential for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and diagnosing potential problems, but they are not a “fix-all” solution. Spring Creek Dental recommends thorough oral homecare routines be practiced on a daily basis to avoid future dental problems.
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease and periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss in the developed world, and is completely preventable in the vast majority of cases. Professional cleanings twice a year at Spring Creek Dental combined with daily self-cleaning can remove a high percentage of disease-causing bacteria and plaque. In addition, teeth that are well cared for make for a sparkling white smile.
There are numerous types of oral hygiene aids on the supermarket shelves, and it can be difficult to determine which will provide the best benefit to your teeth.
Common Oral Hygiene Aids for Your Fort Collins Home Dental Care:
Dental floss is a very simple and inexpensive, but incredibly useful tool in obtaining optimal oral health. Floss comes in a wide variety of flavors and sizes, and can be made from either thin nylon filaments or polyethylene ribbons. When flossing it is important to have the correct technique, which involves gliding the floss along the entire surface of each tooth it is placed between. Floss should be run below the gumline, but care should be taken not to get too aggressive. Depending on your mouth, our Spring Creek hygienists will help find the prefect floss that will be easiest and most beneficial for you.
Many patients have large spaces between their teeth along the gumline. In these circumstances, our hygienists typically encourage use of interdental cleaners. These small brushes do an excellent job cleansing these difficult areas while also being gentle on your tissues.
Depending on your dental needs, our hygienists may recommend adding mouthrinse to your routine. Depending on the rinse, it can reduce your risk for bad breath, gingivitis and decay. When selecting an OTC rinse, look for something with a low (or no) alcohol content.
We also have two prescription rinses: Periomed and Peridex. These rinses are prescribed on an as needed basis.
Oral irrigators, like Water Jets and Waterpiks have been created to clean debris from below the gum line. Water is continuously sprayed from tiny jets into the gum pockets which can help remove harmful bacteria and food particles. Overall, oral irrigators have proven effective in lowering the risk of gum disease and should not be used instead of brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings at Spring Creek Dental are recommended at least twice annually to remove deeper debris.
Rubber Tip Stimulators
The rubber tip stimulator is an excellent tool for removing plaque from around the gum line and also for stimulating blood flow to the gums. The rubber tip stimulator should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day. Any plaque on the tip can be rinsed off with tap water. It is important to replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn, and to store the stimulator in a cool, dry place.
Tongue cleaners (or tongue scrapers) refer to an inexpensive device that, when used appropriately, does an excellent job in cleaning your tongue (much better than a toothbrush). The tongue can harbor food debris, bacteria, and fungi. Without adequate stimulation the papilla on your tongue can actually elongate and discolor depending on your diet. This condition is called “harry tongue” and is completely preventable and treatable with appropriate home care. Not only can a tongue scraper remove this appearance, it can also help significantly with halitosis (bad breath). Along with improving breath, the tongue scraper removes fungi and bacteria that can have a negative impact on your systemic health.
Tongue scrapers are typically made from plastic (although some are metal or wood), and come in a variety of shapes, all of them being reusable. Cleaning your tongue should be done prior to brushing and flossing, to reduce the risk of bacterial and fungi ingestion).
There are a great many toothbrush types available. Electric toothbrushes are generally recommended by dentists because electric brushes are much more effective than manual brushes. The vibrating or rotary motion helps to easily dislodge plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. The same results can be obtained using a manual brush, but much more effort is needed to do so.
Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every three months because worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are far less damaging to gum tissue than the medium and hard bristle varieties. In addition, an appropriate sized ADA approved toothbrush should be chosen to allow proper cleaning to all the teeth. Teeth should ideally be brushed after each meal, or minimally twice each day.
Oral Hygiene Questions? Contact Spring Creek Dental in Fort Collins, CO
If you have any questions about oral hygiene aids, please ask your dentist or dental hygienist at Spring Creek Dental. Call (970) 482-8883.
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: (970) 482-8883