Here you will find products I recommend regularly to the patients. They have been proven to be the most effective in removing soft bacteria aka plaque which builds up every day on your teeth.
In this post (click to jump):
- Reach Mint Waxed Floss
This sticky (wax) and thick floss is the most effective for plaque removal compared to all the tapes that have shiny and smooth surface resulting in inadequate removal of plaque.
- Oral B SuperFloss
Meant for implants, bridges, braces etc. when use of a normal floss is impossible. There are 3 parts in one string (hardened end, puffy part, round part). I only advice to use the hardened end and the puffy part.
Mind you, the floss is rarely my first choice for cleaning between the teeth. I recommend it when
- nothing else fits between the teeth (which is rare and in these cases it never considers the whole mouth)
- there are implants or bridges
- there are orthodontic fixed retainer or braces
I never recommend
- any other floss or flossing devices unless there are problems with motoric skills due to an illness or disability
- floss because it tastes good or is easy to use (easy = ineffective)
- electric flossers as they are ineffective
- floss because the patient finds interdental brush difficult to use. Instead I go through the technique again, let the patient to show his technique and correct it if needed.
Interdental Brush Aka Bottle Brush
- TEPE Interdental Brushes
Comes with various sizes. I recommend only the sizes 0.7 – 1.5mm. I do not recommend the extra-soft version as it is ineffective in plaque removal. The size scale from 0.7mm upwards: 0.7mm, 0.8mm, 1.1mm, 1.3mm, 1.5mm
These are the most effective tools for cleaning between the teeth. It will need some practicing before you master the technique but once you do, you can’t live without them.
Important note: You cannot find the right size on your own. The dental hygienist will test different sizes for you and choose minimum of 2 sizes to cover all of your teeth. One size is rarely enough.
Note for the professionals: Sizes smaller than 0.7mm can be replaced by Gum Soft Picks as the smaller Tepe sizes bend too easily. Choose the Tepe size that is tight enough and review the size on the next visit as the gums shrink when they heal. Always aim to tight enough size. The size scale: Regular, Large, X-large
The most important thing is to choose the model that uses up to 31,000 brush strokes/min. Also you need to learn the correct technique. There are plenty of videos about the technique on the internet, but what they often fail to inform is that the sonic vibration requires liquid to work. So soak the brush head under the tap and don’t spit out whilst brushing. You’ll learn to move the liquid around your mouth without dribbling.
Also, it will tickle like hell for the first two weeks if you are unlucky but keep on using it and you will get used to it.
There are plenty of different types of brush heads available but I recommend the simplest ones – no need to go for e.g. sensitive versions that normally are too soft.
Generally I don’t recommend them. There is no benefit of using them if you brush your teeth twice a day and clean between the teeth once a day.
Having said that, some patients benefit of a fluoride mouthwash (e.g. dry mouth sufferers). On these cases I recommend simple alcohol-free sodium fluoride rinses.
Read this for more info about mouthwashes and whether or not you should use them.
Mind you, we might recommend chlorhexidine mouthwash after extractions or if you have a severe gum disease. But these are meant only for temporary use.
Always use fluoride toothpaste (no, it’s not a health risk as you are not meant to swallow it).
I prefer a toothpaste that has as few ingredients as possible (one being fluoride), but there are exceptions:
- use soap-free (sodium lauryl sulphate, SLS) toothpaste if you suffer from mouth ulcers, dry mouth or condition called lichen planus
- sensitive toothpaste if you suffer from sensitivity to cold (but only after a dental professional has established that there is no other reasons for the sensitivity and that the sensitivity is not due to poor oral hygiene)
Well my first choice is of course the electric toothbrush but if there is no possibility to use one then you need a proper manual toothbrush. Extra-soft and soft toothbrushes are way too soft for anyone so do not opt for them (now, those professional reading this that felt OMG-moment when reading this sentence should read this).
If any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me either on the comment box below or on the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, that to find out the right tool and the right size of the tool for you to use e.g. between the teeth, you need an advice from a dental professional, preferably from a dental hygienist.