Oral Hygiene – The Bare Necessities
This article discusses the necessities to consider when looking after your teeth and maintaining good Oral Hygiene. What are the necessary aids that you need to get good results.
The most essential aid in your oral hygiene aids is the toothbrush. A good toothbrush is key. Here some people will naturally ask “Should I get a manual or electric?”. Read more about electric toothbrushes in my post, by clicking here.
However, the important points to note is that the toothbrush needs to be of a small enough size to
give “personalised” brushing for each tooth; and large enough, so that it is effective and efficient in your daily routine. You don’t want to be using a tiny one-tufted toothbrush to clean ALL your teeth, as that would take ages.
For most people, the toothbrush needs to be medium in texture and in size. A simple shaped toothbrush is more than adequate; although a fancy tufted and pronged toothbrush may help in some instances.
Your basic toothbrush is your oral hygiene aid that will do most of the cleaning for you. It is much more important than the type of toothpaste that you will use.
There are tens – if not hundreds – of toothpastes on the market. Toothpastes are there to deliver three essential functions
1) Act as a detergent; to give you that foam which makes it easier to use the toothbrush
2) Deliver certain chemicals to the teeth; this may include Fluoride, antibacterial agents, or other chemicals
3) Work on other functions like whitening or anti plaque surfacing.
When choosing the right toothpaste, there are a few factors to look for. That is discussed in another article.
A 2016 poll conducted by the Oral Health Foundation, found that more than 62% of respondents rinse after brushing. Nigel Carter, the organisations CEO called rinsing our mouth after brushing “very bad” as it “washes away the protective fluoride left behind by brushing.” The benefits of the toothpaste need to remain in contact with the teeth as much as possible. So, don’t rinse with water; and also avoid rinsing with mouthwash after toothbrushing.
The toothbrush will allow you to get rid of up to 90% of food residues and dental plaque. It will not reach the areas in between the teeth, which are termed interdental spaces. To access these spaces, you will another dental hygiene aid. This can be in the form of dental floss (tape being an alternative) or interdental brushes.
The main criterion on which to use is the space in between the teeth. If you have tight gaps, then floss is what you need. For larger gaps, then you will need to use interdental brushes. The interdental brushes come in a range of sizes and formats.
The two main formats are small handles or the larger handle. As for the sizes, then these are around 10 in number.
More on these in another article.
There is much debate about what dental mouthwash add to one’s oral hygiene. If proper care is taken, then a toothbrush and interdental aids can get rid of all dental plaque.
However, mouthwashes add an extra level of protection.
Firstly, most people may not remove all the dental plaque stuck on the teeth, and the mouthwash helps with providing some help in reducing the harm of dental plaque, but not eliminating it, as this can only be done with mechanical removal.
Secondly, mouthwashes – like toothpastes – deliver certain chemicals to the oral cavity to aid oral hygiene.
Thirdly, for those who have mouth odour: mouthwashes act like a perfume for the mouth. But, similarly as perfumes are not an alternative to having a shower, mouthwashes are not an alternative to brushing.
These are the bare essential for maintaining good oral hygiene.
NOTE: it is best not to rinse with a mouthrinse straight after brushing your teeth. As we mentioned before, it is best to spit the toothpaste out and not rinse it away; and so rinsing with a mouthwash will also rinse the contents of toothpaste away.
So, you are best using mouthrinse as a separate adjunct at different times.
In this article, I mention the essential aids in maintaining good oral and dental hygiene. These are essentially toothbrush and toothpaste, interdental aids and mouthwash.
The article gives simple guidance, and there is more information to be sought in relation to other aspects of good oral hygiene.