Moffitt Restorative Dentistry

Back to the Basics: Brush, Floss, and Smile

Sep 28 2012

We’ve all been told to brush and floss, but did you know that there is more involved than just a toothbrush and floss?
There are many different types of toothbrushes on the market. Manual toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and also bristle strengths. A few decades ago, it was recommended to use hard or medium bristles to “scrub” teeth but after some years of reliant brushers, dentists were noticing an increase in gum recession- where gum tissue recedes and root surfaces are exposed. Researchers looked into the culprit and realized that the hard bristles were too harsh for delicate gum tissue. Dentists and hygenists realized that plaque removal isn’t dependent on the bristle strength, it’s the technique. Soft or extra soft bristles are now recommended to prevent gum recession and gentle brushing techniques are now shown to promote proper plaque removal. Electric toothbrushes have become one of the most popular dental products over the past few years. The price ranges from $5.00 to upwards of $150.00. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to remove significantly more plaque and improve gum health in a decreased amount of time as manual tooth brushing. They also help to minimize stain and tartar build up by half when compared to manual toothbrushes.  People can be as efficient with a manual toothbrush though it may take more time to do so.  We recommend the Sonicare and Rotadent electric toothbrushes.

Flossing can be one of the hardest habits to form.  Luckily, many companies are trying to find easier ways to incorporate flossing into everyone’s daily routines.  Flosspiks are a small one-time use product that usually has a toothpick on one end, and a U-shaped end with floss attached to the two tips.  This allows a lot less hand manipulation when compared to string floss.  Another way to cleans between the teeth is with a Waterpik.  This uses pressurized water to flush out Plaque and debris under the gums and between teeth.  Although we also recommend to floss, Waterpik has many studies comparing its effectiveness against plaque reduction without floss.

Keep working at it!  Try to add this overall care of your oral health to your daily regimen.
Compiled together with Tammy Grones RDH.

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