Walk down any dental aisle at your local supermarket in Medicine Hat, and you may get overwhelmed with the number of product choices you have. Toothbrushes with soft, medium, and hard bristles, electric toothbrushes, oral irrigation systems, various types of dental flosses, picks, and an endless assortment of toothpaste. The question is – which products do you absolutely need and how do you choose the right ones? Professional dentists in Medicine Hat recommend the following essential tools and how to select them.

Toothbrush

First and foremost, you need a toothbrush, but it’s important not to buy just any brush. The brush should fit the size of your mouth so that brushing is comfortable (some adults with a smaller mouth use a youth-sized toothbrush) and should ideally have soft bristles. Some medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too abrasive and harsh on the gums. At your next dental appointment, your hygienist can recommend or provide you with a toothbrush that’s right for you.

If you have a tendency to brush too hard, your Medicine Hat dentist may recommend an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can help prevent harsh brushing because they clean your teeth using a gentle circular motion. Additionally, electric toothbrushes are great for individuals who suffer from arthritis or have a condition or injury that makes it challenging to hold a toothbrush.

Dental floss

Flossing your teeth is right up there with brushing daily. For healthy gums, you should floss at least once a day or even twice a day, depending on what type of food you eat and your current oral health. You’ll notice that dental floss comes waxed or unwaxed with different flavours. Flossing is a chore for many patients so, in this case, stick with a preferred brand or flavour so that you’re more likely to use it. We recommend waxed floss if your teeth are spaced tightly.

Dental picks and mini-brushes

Dental picks and mini-brushes help you get between and around teeth to remove food particles. When using picks, sticks, or mini-brushes, be gentle around the gumline. It can be tempting to use more pressure for particularly stubborn particles, but it’s important to avoid damaging the gums in the process.

Toothpaste

Last but certainly not least, an essential part of keeping your teeth clean and healthy is choosing the right toothpaste. You’ll need fluoride toothpaste to fight against cavities and one that addresses your particular needs. If you have sensitive teeth, avoid whitening toothpaste and opt for one that is specifically designed for people with teeth sensitivity. Avoid falling for the latest trends, such as activated coal toothpaste that claim to whiten your teeth a few shades or cheap ones at an unmarked vendor. Always look for the Canadian Dental Association stamp of approval, which lets you know that the product has passed professional standards and health tests to be CDA certified.

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