Every day patients ask me “what kind of toothbrush should I use”, or “can you recommend a dental floss?”
Well here are the top ten things on my list:
- Dental floss. They are all good but one of my favorites is “Reach Dental Floss Waxed” or the minty one called “whitening” just for the flavour.
- Interproximal brushes. Many people can’t floss, won’t floss, hate floss, just ran out of floss. After 21 years I have heard every excuse in the book. Flossing is difficult and luckily there is an alternative: tiny brushes that go between your teeth. I like the Piksters because they are available in most pharmacies now.
- Toothpicks. Come on, the least you can do is pick your teeth! Not the round ones you get at cocktail parties (in your Martini) or with the corner of an old business card. I am talking about special triangular ones made from soft wood. They don’t damage your gums and do a pretty good job, and at least get the bits of food out. In Perth Australia we get the Sensodyne brand “InterDens fine” which are excellent, which you moisten before use.
- Manual toothbrush. Very soft but nothing too fancy, again there is nothing to beat the Curaden Brand and the one I like best is model CS 3960 “supersoft”
- Electric or power toothbrush. If you’re going to spend the money, get the best. Many patients do better with a manual brush than the cheap throw-away electric ones. You can’t beat the Braun Oral-B Triumph Professional Care, or the Pulsonic, my favourite and personal choice.
- Tongue cleaner or scraper. Daily use is essential to ensure fresh breath. These work much better than brushing the tongue. Some pharmacies now have a few different ones in stock, and you should 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.
- Mouthwash. Most of my patients don’t need it. I have posted recently about the controversy surrounding oral cancer and strong alcohol mouthwashes. In some cases I recommend Curasept Chlorhexidine 0.12% non-staining toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Toothpaste. I don’t like the more expensive ones with lots of ingredients. All that is necessary is a mild abrasive and fluoride. I like “Colgate Fluorigard Anti-Cavity Great Regular Flavour”.
- Plaque disclosing tablets. Yes the little tablets that you chew and all your teeth go pink are still around, the pink highlights the plaque left behind after brushing.
- Timer. You cannot brush effectively in less than 2 minutes no matter what your technique!
Here is a great video on how to floss your teeth
This article is solely the professional and individual opinion of Dr. Fraser Ferguson a Perth Dentist in Nedlands, Western Australia and does not replace the professional guidance of your own personal dentist. He/she is the best person to counsel you on specific products for your specific situation. Please consult with them if you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this article.
For an appointment with Dr. Ferguson please phone: (08) 6389 2711