Proper tooth care in Colorado Springs, CO is like a diamond; many facets make it sparkle. The broadest face of that diamond is your regular dental appointments because your dentist has the expertise to care for both existing and emerging challenges. But in between visits, the best way to maintain a healthy smile is your daily regimen of brushing and flossing. And to do that most effectively, you need the right tools. From our professional perspective, we're happy to provide several recommendations.
Toothpaste – Getting Past the Hype
Strolling the oral hygiene aisle of your local store, you’ve probably noticed rows upon rows of different kinds of toothpaste. How can you possibly choose what's best for you? Well, you can keep it simple by selecting a fluoride-rich, ADA-approved and non-abrasive option with a taste you find appealing. Of course, this means trying several products, but at Springs Family Dental, we recommend Colgate Total and Arm & Hammer Complete Care.
Toothpaste also has specializations of which you should be aware. These include kid’s toothpaste, toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and whitening options.
Kid’s Needs Are Unique
Most parents can relate to the challenges of getting their kids to brush. Kid’s toothpaste can provide encouragement through fun designs and attractive flavors, but it’s not all fluff. Toothpaste for children is enriched with the appropriate amount of fluoride for little systems.
Don’t Let Tooth Sensitivity Stop You from Brushing
For those of us with sensitivities, using and maintaining our teeth can be difficult. Some of the healthiest foods require biting and chewing with some force, and cold treats can be less appealing if they cause pain. For our patients, we encourage Sensodyne as the best choice because it contains potassium nitrate, which reduces sensitivity when used regularly.
The Downside of Whitening Pastes
We’ve all seen commercials that feature dazzling bright smiles attributed to whitening toothpaste. However, we discourage the use of these products because many, in order to achieve a whitening effect, use harsh abrasives, which may damage tooth enamel. If you wish for effective whitening treatments, our professional services are a safer and better option.
Toothbrushes – Get to Know the Types
Like your store's shelves of toothpaste, you’ve likely also observed a huge selection of toothbrushes. The first and most prolific type is the manual brush. Simple and cost-effective, manual brushes can do a great job, but you should still follow these guidelines:
- Choose soft-bristles – much like whitening toothpaste, firm bristled brushes are abrasive on teeth and rough on the gums. If you’ve been taught to apply a lot of force when brushing, try easing up. Brushing effectively shouldn’t cause pain or damage.
- The brand isn’t important – in this case, you may choose the brand you like best so long as the bristles are soft.
- Replace your manual brush frequently – your toothbrush isn’t a collector’s item. Get a new one at least every three months, or sooner if the bristles are visibly worn.
Are Powered Toothbrushes Better?
The American Dental Association (ADA) takes the middle ground in the contest between manual and powered toothbrushes. However, we affirm that powered models can be more effective because they help prevent overly aggressive brushing that may damage teeth and gums. Many models also have a built-in timer that helps ensure you brush for the encouraged two minutes on each occasion.
If you choose a powered toothbrush, we recommend Sonicare as your best option. But be aware that, like manual brushes, powered brushes have replaceable ends that should be exchanged every few months or sooner if they have clearly deteriorated.
Flossing – Not Just a Silly Fortnite Dance
Along with brushing, flossing is a vital part of your daily routine. The ADA advocates it as “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” Floss is an important tool because it reaches where brushing can’t; the spaces between your teeth where tooth decay progresses unchecked when debris isn't removed. We at Springs Family Dental recommend Reach Mint Waxed floss for regular use. Waxed floss is easier to get between teeth, breaks less frequently, and is gentler on your gums.
Other Flossing Methods
While we can spend a lot of time discussing different floss methods, dentists agree it's most important to just get it done. So if you struggle with traditional floss, then you may use dental pick flossers. But be aware that these tools are less effective in reaching all surfaces between teeth, so an extra dose of thoroughness should be practiced. If you’d like to use a water flosser, the Waterpik brand has been proven the most effective. One other option for cleaning between teeth is Proxybrushes.
When in Doubt, Ask Springs Family Dental
Though we’ve offered some general guidelines here, you may still have questions or concerns, so don’t hesitate to ask your dentist. Your unique situation may call for different approaches, and we are more than happy to help. Give us a call today.