Oral Care Products: How to Choose the Best Products
According to the World Health Organization, 5-20% of middle-aged Europeans - and up to 40% of older Europeans - suffer from severe gum disease. This is a startling statistic, to be sure, though most dental professionals would nod knowingly upon hearing it.
Pretty scary, right? I mean, you probably know you’re supposed to brush twice a day and clean in between your teeth, but maybe you don’t have enough time. Maybe you don’t have the right equipment, and maybe you don’t know the right techniques. Could this put you at risk for severe gum disease?
It might. But with the right oral care, it might not. Proper oral care is essential, not just for appearance, but for overall health. With the right supplies and information, you’ll be able to take care of your teeth and gums, with confidence and overall well-being.
Customize your oral care regimen
The first thing you should do when considering this topic is to review your current oral care habits. What are you using to clean your teeth and gums right now, and is it effective? Is there a better option out there? What products aren’t you using that they should be? Have you gotten recommendations from your dentist - and did you listen?
Each person’s oral health needs are unique, of course. Some are trying to reverse the early stages of gingivitis. Others are looking to clean and protect sensitive teeth, while many are trying to learn to brush with orthodontics. Still others are aiming to prevent future problems to avoid pain, discomfort, and high intervention costs. These factors play a significant role in finding the right oral care regimen.
It’s important to take care when selecting oral care products, looking for ones that offer the most daily benefits. For many, this might mean a little trial and error as they experiment with different products. You should always seek the advice of your dentist and talk to him or her about your individual needs when considering oral care products for specific conditions. That said, here are some tips on how to make smart purchases for every stage of the daily oral care ritual.
Start with the basics: toothbrush and toothpaste
The most basic supplies for taking care of your teeth and gums are a good toothbrush and the right toothpaste. When choosing a toothbrush, the first decision to make is whether to select a manual or electric toothbrush.
If you opt for a manual toothbrush, you should look for one with soft bristles that are gentle with your teeth and gums, avoiding damaging the enamel. The way our toothbrushes are designed is made to reach in between teeth spaces and below the gum line. Some of our toothbrushes have also extra thin tip bristles, thinner at the top to better reach hard-to-reach areas.
All our toothbrushes ensure gentle removal of plaque and preserve the health of your gums and teeth. If you have specific oral care conditions, you might want to choose a toothbrush that can help you in your daily oral care routine: a toothbrush for sensitive teeth, or for cleaning orthodontics or to take care of your mouth after surgery.
If you find it difficult to adopt a good manual brushing technique, an electric toothbrush can help you a lot, largely because of their sonic vibrations or rotating heads.
Their movement and the unique design of their bristles facilitates deep clean where plaque accumulates. Have a look at our GUM® ActiVital® Sonic Battery toothbrush, a great compromise between ease of use and efficacy.
No matter what type of toothbrush one uses, the other component in the equation is toothpaste. Here, there are plenty of options. If you don’t have specific oral care issues or needs, you could opt for a daily solution like our GUM ActiVital toothpaste. If you have sensitive teeth or dealing with other oral conditions, a specialized toothpaste may be the answer:
- Toothpaste if you suffer from inflamed or bleeding gums
- Halitosis-control toothpaste to help reduce the prevalence of bad breath
- Orthodontic toothpaste to protect teeth, gums and orthodontic appliances
- Toothpaste formulated to help reduce the effects of chronic dry mouth
Remember, toothpaste does more than clean plaque off of teeth. It also protects teeth and stimulates better gum health while reducing the effects of certain oral conditions. Choosing the right toothpaste to pair with the right toothbrush can be a key to unlocking a good oral care routine.
Emphasize interdental care
As state above, 5-20% of adults aged 35-44 have some degree of periodontal (gum) disease, a condition which requires proper interdental care if you want to treat or prevent it successfully. While floss is a traditional staple for interdental care, allowing you to gently and effectively clean where your toothbrush can’t, it’s far from the only product out there to keep interdental spaces clean.
- Floss. While regular floss is fine for most people, most of all for those that have tight spaces in between teeth, those with orthodontics or permanent retainers may benefit from access floss, which features a threader for easy flossing. Expanding floss is also an option. It threads thin and expands between teeth for thorough cleaning. If you have issues handling the floss, you can also try Flossers. Improper use of floss can actually damage gums, so, if you have other options, there are some devices that can be better choices for many.
- Interdental picks. Interdental picks or soft rubber picks are great for dislodging food particles stuck between teeth, effective for removing plaque, and are easier to use than floss. They’re perfect for when it’s difficult to reach the back molars . They also stimulate and massage gums, which improves gum health. They’re a great steppingstone to start interdental cleaning.
- Interdental brushes. Some patients have orthodontic appliances to work around and some patients already have gum issues. In these cases, an interdental brush makes it easy to dislodge food trapped in braces, bridges, and retainers. It’s also a great way to remove plaque from interdental spaces. It’s a reusable oral care product and one people can use daily to prevent food buildups that flossing doesn’t remove.
Not only do floss, flossers, picks, and interdental brushes remove food from spaces between teeth, they can help prevent sensitive, swollen, or bleeding gums. If you take the time to choose the right tool, then you can greatly decrease your chances of suffering from gum disease.
Finish with a rinse
The third and final step in a patient’s oral care routine starts with choosing the right rinse. First things first: it’s important to know the difference between a fluoride rinse and an antiseptic mouthwash. A fluoride rinse doesn’t kill germs and bacteria - rather, it strengthens your enamel and helps provide great breath. An antiseptic mouthwash, on the other hand, does kill bacteria and will also give fresh breath, but is an active treatment for gum disease and not meant for daily usage.
Most people benefit from an antiseptic mouthwash as the final stage of their brushing routine; however, dentists may recommend a fluoride mouth rinse for sensitive teeth or to help with teeth whitening for teeth that are susceptible to coffee stains or discoloration. There are also rinses for halitosis and dry mouth, as well.
Oral care products need to fit the user
There is a broad range of other oral care products out there in addition to brushes, toothpaste, interdental products, and rinses, many of which can be a great addition to a traditional regimen.
- Don’t forget about your tongue! It’s an important part of your mouth, after all, and cleaning it regularly with a tongue cleaner reduces bacteria buildup and helps combat bad breath.
- Oral moisturizing sprays and gels can stimulate saliva production to alleviate dry mouth.
- Plaque disclosing tablets can teach patients about brushing habits and reveal areas that need work.
Proper oral care is a learning journey, and you may not know everything you need to know, but you can arm yourself with the right tools and techniques. With a little education, you can find the right products for your needs and create an oral care routine that fits into your habits and is both effective and efficient. And then, you can proudly flash your healthy and pearly whites with confidence.
To learn more about the full spectrum of oral care products available to you contact SUNSTAR GUM today.