- Some toothbrushes today have wide handles. This helps control the toothbrush better. So, choose a toothbrush with a handle that is long and wide enough for you to handle. You should replace your toothbrush at least four times a year-more often if you have been sick.
Electric vs. Manual Tooth Brush
There are a wide variety of electric toothbrushes on the market today. Some are even disposable. A few models have even received positive reviews by the American Dental Association.
Electric toothbrushes, for the most part, can be just as effective as the old-fashioned, non-powered varieties. Some studies have shown electric toothbrushes cover more area quickly because of their rapid, rotating bristles.
If only for novelty, electric toothbrushes encourage more frequent brushing among people who normally hate to brush. They also may be advantageous for people who have arthritis, or for children with braces who find it more difficult to navigate around the appliances with a manual toothbrush.
A few things to remember about electric toothbrushes:
- Some are expensive; nearly all cost more than a conventional toothbrush.
- Most people who use an electric toothbrush for the first time may experience a little bleeding from the powerful bristle action on their gums. In most cases, the bleeding will stop after a few uses.
Types of Floss
Dental floss comes in a variety of colors, materials and even flavors. Waxed varieties are easier to use for people with extremely tight spaces between their teeth. Popular flavors of floss include wintergreen and cinnamon. Waxed floss does tend to fray more than unwaxed floss.
A type of material called wide floss can be effective for people with large spaces between their teeth, or for people with delicate bridge work.
Floss can be purchased in small self-dispensing boxes. Floss can also be purchased in special, single-use holders, which are useful for people who have a hard time wrapping floss around their fingers, including those with dexterity problems or arthritis.
There is never a suitable substitute for daily brushing and flossing.
While some products, including water irrigation devices (or “water picks”), may be useful for specific applications, they do not remove plaque.
Water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to blast food particles and other debris in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Dentists use professional-grade water picks when preparing a tooth for restoration, or in general cleaning and exams.
People with painful gum disease or highly sensitive gums may find water picks useful for supplementing their brushing regimen. And people with orthodontia (including braces), have found water picks quite useful because toothbrush bristles often get stuck.
Mouth guards are an important piece of gear for various kinds of physical activities and sports. Hundreds of thousands of injuries occur every year involving the face and mouth which could be avoided or minimized if a mouth guard had been worn (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Mouth guards provide valuable protections for the jaw, face, tongue, lips, and of course, teeth. For example, a traumatic blow to the front of the face not only tears soft tissue or knocks out teeth, but also may force the lower jaw into the upper jaw. A mouth guard can help keep your teeth from tearing the soft tissues of your mouth during a traumatic injury. They also protect you when you’re wearing bridges or braces.
Mouth guards are generally small plastic appliances that safely fit around your teeth. Many mouth guards are soft and pliable when opened, and mold to your teeth when first inserted.
Mouth guards can help prevent a whole host of traumatic injuries to the neck and jaw, as well as more serious problems such as cerebral hemorrhages and concussions.
Types of Mouth Guards:
- The kind you soak in hot water and then mold to your teeth. This is the most common type.
- The least attractive option is the pre-molded mouth guard that is found in aisles at sporting goods stores. These may be ready to wear, but because they are not molded to the unique shape of your teeth and mouth, can easily become dislodged
Care for Your Mouth Guard
Your mouth guard needs to be cleaned (usually with warm soap and water) and allowed to air dry after each use. You also can soak your mouth guard in an antiseptic mouthwash to help remove many kinds of germs.