To ensure your mouth is healthy and for optimal oral health it is generally recommended that everyone sticks to a regular routine of dental cleanings and check-ups twice a year, combined with at-home care including brushing at least twice a day, and flossing on a daily basis.
If you want to take your oral hygiene to the next level, here are 3 dental gadgets that you can add to your regular daily routine to further improve your overall dental habits and keep your oral health in the best shape possible between your 6-month cleaning appointments.
Why is Tongue Cleaning Recommended?
Debris and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time. This can lead to bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health.
Your mouth is full of both good and bad bacteria. The tongue in your mouth is covered in tiny little filaments or bumbs called papillae. These papillae harbor and trap bad bacteria and stain from food particles. The bacteria accumulation can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral thrush, bad breath, and a bacterial coating on the tongue which can appear as white or black. Keeping your tongue clean will help reduce the bacteria load, helping you keep a fresh and clean healthy mouth.
How to Use a Tongue Scraper Safely?
- Stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth, and stick out your tongue. Remove any piercing jewelry such as tongue rings. These rings may be left soaking in hydrogen peroxide while cleaning your tongue.
- Gently set the rounded end of the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue.
- If you are worried about gagging, you may find it helpful to start at the middle of your tongue. You can gradually start from farther back as you get used to scraping.
- Using light pressure to not damage your taste buds, gently touch the scraper to your tongue. Slowly pull it forward, toward the tip of your tongue. You should never push the scraper from the tip of your tongue back. Using this tool correctly with light pressure should not hurt or cause any problems.
- After each scrape, use a washcloth or tissue to remove debris from the scraper or rinse with water.
- Repeat until you’ve scraped the entire surface of your tongue. One to two scrapes across the same area is usually enough.
- Wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap, dry, and store in a clean, dry area.
- This should be done once a day, in the morning or evening.
Why are Soft Picks Recommended?
Soft picks are a great adjunct to help maintain clean healthy gums. They are soft, flexible bristles that slide in between the teeth to help gently remove plaque and food debris, helping to fight gum disease. The rubber bristles comfortably massage and stimulate the gums. Soft picks are convenient and safe for orthodontics, implants, bridges or crowns and they are also great for people with arthritis or dexterity problems.
How to Use Soft Picks?
- Gently slide the soft picks in between each tooth rubbing back and forth a few times.
- Then discard the soft pick as these are good for only one use. You do not need one for each tooth.
Are Soft Picks a Substitute for Flossing?
- Although it is always better to use a soft pick than to not floss at all, it is important to know that soft picks can only clean part of the tooth surface. Traditional floss is recommended in conjunction with soft picks. Wrapping traditional floss completely around the tooth will remove bacteria and plaque more effectively. These two work very well in conjunction with each other.
What Are Plaque Disclosing Tablets and How Do They Work?
Getting rid of plaque is important to keep your mouth healthy. Sometimes removing plaque is not as easy as just brushing your teeth. When brushing you cannot see what you have missed, as plaque is virtually invisible and not so easy to spot. However, disclosing tabs help you see the plaque that you might not have known was there. These tablets highlight bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces with a dye. This dye depending on which product you purchase ranges from red, pink, purple or even blue.
Disclosing tablets are non-toxic tablets that are easy and safe to use. They are composed of food ingredients and are therefore unlikely to pose any risk if ingested, but of course should not be consumed for edible usage.
How To Use Plaque Disclosing Tablets?
- Start by brushing your teeth and then rinsing with water.
- Chew one tablet and swish with it for 30 secs without swallowing.
- Spit and rinse.
- Now using a mirror and good lighting check your teeth for any pink, red or purple stains that the tablet has left behind. The tablet will turn any plaque build-up on the teeth red/pink/purple depending on the color of tablet you’ve purchased. This makes it very easy to spot.
- You can then brush and floss these areas until the teeth are fully clean.
- The coloration induced by disclosing tablets is temporary and teeth won’t stay stained.
- Discoloration may persist in harder to reach areas for a short period of time.
- Tablets are recommended to be used at night
- Tablets may be used by anyone within the ages of 6 and up.
- Disclosing tablets should be used at least once a week.