April 2014

All you need to know about Oral Hygiene Tools For ages 6 years and up

Dear Friends:

Every 10 years or so(!) I would like to revisit the important issue of oral hygiene and introduce a few products that can make this job much easier and more efficient for you.

Brushing:

  • I have observed that most people miss the parts of the teeth closest to, and under the gums when brushing.  This is because they are trying to brush their “teeth only” when they should be brushing their “teeth and gums.”  This way the bristles are lead into the gum sulcus, the most critical area to be cleaned, in order to avoid Gingivitis and Root Cavities.
  • A moderate amount of pressure should be put on the tooth brush while it is angled obliquely towards the edge of the gum for the bristles to be pushed into these small spaces.
  • Brush the teeth in “small” circular motions rather than side to side, so as to “work the bristles” into these crevices.

brushing teeth       tooth brushing technique

  • Make sure to adequately brush the hard to reach areas of the mouth, such as the insides of the lower back teeth and the backs of the upper back teeth.
  • At this time the best brush available and my personal choice is the Crest’s battery operated Spin Brush which is relatively inexpensive ($10). This brush has the advantage that it does not move as fast as other electrical brushes so the bristles can be worked into the gum sulcus without abrading the root surfaces and causing sensitivity. If you still prefer a manual brush, any of the Crest’s soft tooth brushes, would be a good choice.Spin Tooth Brush

    Crest spin tooth brush

    Crest Spin Toothbrush

 

Toothpastes:  (more on this topic at zadehdentistry.com

  • As for the choice of toothpaste, I definitely advise against any toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide.  Long term use of peroxide opens up the dentinal pores resulting in sensitivity and other problems at the root surfaces.
  • Crest toothpastes have very high abrasives and should be reserved for people who do not brush their teeth as much as they should. The diligent brusher may find his /her teeth sensitive after a while.
  • Colgate toothpastes are less abrasive than the Crests but still too abrasive for the meticulous brusher.
  • Sensodyne toothpastes have low abrasives but are useless for treatment of sensitivity.
  • Whitening toothpastes containing Carbomide Peroxide are to some extent effective for bleaching the teeth. Other than sensitivity,  there is no harm in their use.

Pro-DentX

 

Viadent Advanced Care

 

Clo-Sys II

  • Viadent is probably the best all around toothpaste that can purchased over the counter.
  • If you particularly have sensitive teeth there is a low abrasive high fluoride containing prescription toothpaste that you can purchase from the office.  It is called Pro-Dentx and it is my personal choice for toothpaste.
  • If you are concerned with bad breath, there is a low abrasive, Chlorine Dioxide tooth paste called Clo-SYSII that is available through the office only.
  • If you are experiencing dry mouth, you will find over the counter biotene toothpastes and products very helpful.
  • The great advantage of the above three toothpastes is their lack of the usual detergent (sodium lauryl sulfate). Its presence is believed to contribute to the frequent formation of painful mouth sores some people experience when under stress.

 

FlossingButler GUM Proxabrush

  • For the areas in between the teeth, depending on the size of the spaces, we recommend flossing, superflossing, or proxi-brushing. placker
  • I have found Plackers to be the best flossing tool.  You can purchase a packet of 75 individual dental flossers for 99¢ at 99¢ stores!  The advantage of this design is that you can floss all your teeth with one hand only!
  • Superfloss is made by Oral-B and it is perfect for spaces that are larger than the minimum. They are great for what they do but not as easy to use as Plackers.
  • When spaces between the teeth are large enough to accommodate the tiny Christmas tree like brushes, I recommend the Butler GUM Proxabrush.

Mouthwashes

  • Other than prescription mouthwashes for specific circumstances such as after gum surgery or for bad breath treatment, I do not believe mouthwashes contribute much to the health of the mouth.  In addition, their high alcohol content and their absorption through the mouth tissues must be taken into account when used by children and pregnant women.
  • Occasional use of a mint mouthwash to freshen the breath causes no harm and is just as good as chewing on a regular mint.
  • Although mouthwash advertisements’ claim about their efficacy against disease producing bacteria is not false, their practical effectiveness in controlling gum disease and cavities is clinically insignificant.  
  • Instead the time, money and effort used on mouthwash can be better spent on brushing and flossing!

Yours for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums,

 

parsa zadeh

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Parsa T. Zadeh, DDS