Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
The majority of dentists recommend that patients use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush their teeth. The toothbrush should have a small enough head that it fits easily in your mouth and can reach your very back teeth. Because it’s important to clean your tongue daily to remove harmful bacteria, you should also brush your tongue with your toothbrush. If you prefer, you can use a tongue cleaner. A tongue cleaner is a metal, plastic, or wooden device that scrapes bacteria and food debris off of the tongue. This should be used prior to brushing your teeth.
Mouth Rinses and Mouthwashes
Mouth rinses are formulated to prevent or treat a variety of dental and oral health problems. Antiseptic mouth rinses kill harmful bacteria in the mouth and can help you prevent bad breath, tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. Mouthwashes do not contain antiseptic ingredients and are primary used as a temporary way to freshen breath. Medicated or prescription mouth rinses contain medications that can prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria and reduce your risk of gum disease, gingivitis, and the need for root canal treatment.
Dental Floss and Oral Irrigators
Dental floss should be used daily to remove bacteria, food debris, and plaque from between the teeth. Your toothbrush alone cannot effectively prevent buildup between your teeth. Dental floss can be waxed or un-waxed, and is available in a variety of flavors. You can buy a spool of dental floss, or individual plastic dental picks that contain one strip of dental floss attached to a toothpick device. Oral irrigators are instruments that spray a stream of water onto the teeth to remove food particles and bacteria.