Dentist Sea Point gives tips on products
Not a day goes by that a patients doesn’t ask me “What kind of toothbrush should I use?” or “Can you recommend a good dental floss?” With millions of products flooding supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to know the difference between a quality product and the latest fad that was solely invented to empty your pockets.
To help make the choice easier, I’ve compiled a short list of essential items that will do just fine in keeping your mouth and teeth healthy.
Here are my recommendations for overall dental health:
Most dental flosses do what they need to do, but a waxed floss is easier to use and one with a great flavour just makes the whole exercise that much more rewarding – There’s nothing better than feeling fresh. Remember, you don’t have to floss all your teeth… Just the ones you want to keep!
My product recommendation: Johnson & Johnson Expansion Plus
Many people can’t floss, won’t floss, hate floss or “just ran out” of floss. After 25 years I have heard every excuse in the book. Yes, flossing can be a drag. Luckily, there is an alternative for those of you who just can’t seem to face flossing. Inter-proximal brushes are tiny brushes that fit between your teeth. I’m not talking about the larger ones that will only fit under a bridge, next to an implant or if you have had periodontal disease – these are different. And they work like a bomb!
My product recommendation: Gum Trav-Ler or Gum Bi-Direction
The least you can do is pick your teeth after eating, right? I don’t mean with toothpicks you get in your Martini or with the corner of an old business card… I am talking about special triangular ones made from soft wood. These are specifically made to gently remove bits of food from your teeth and best of all, they don’t damage your gums.
My product recommendation: Gum Soft-Picks
There will always be the humble, manual toothbrush (which should be soft, by the way), but an electric or power toothbrush is really where you should be spending your money. Either way, if you’re going to invest in a tool for your teeth, get the best, whichever option you choose. Many patients do better with a manual brush than the cheap throw-away electric ones.
My product recommendation: Curaprox Super Soft 3960
A tongue cleaner or scraper is an essential tool for fresh breath. These work much better than brushing the tongue. We give all our patients one that I personally developed called the “Breath-So-Fresh”. Some pharmacies now have a few different ones in stock and I urge you to try several, as all tongues are slightly different. Find one that reaches the back third of the tongue and isn’t too sharp, but still effective.
Most of my patients don’t need it. I will soon be posting about the controversy surrounding oral cancer and strong alcohol mouthwashes. In some cases, I recommend Curasept Chlorhexidine 0.12% non-staining toothpaste and mouthwash, but in my opinion, staying away from the newest, cure-all wonder washes is your best option.
I’m not a fan of expensive toothpastes containing millions of ingredients. All you really need is a mild abrasive and fluoride, and of course a great flavour doesn’t hurt!
My product recommendation: Colgate Total 12 or Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection Plus Sugar Acid Neutralizer
Plaque disclosing tablets
Yes, I know, they’re ancient. But the little tablets that you chew that make all your teeth go pink are still around. The pink colour indicates all the plaque you’ve missed after brushing – Simple and effective! New tablets are now available that show old plaque in blue.
My product recommendation: (Insert product name)
You cannot possibly brush effectively in less than 2 minutes no matter what your technique. It feels like forever, but come on, it’s only 2 minutes! Very little work for very big results – What’s not to love?
Yours in dental excellence,
Dr. Clifford Yudelman