There are a great many toothbrush types available. You can either choose an electric or manual toothbrush based on your requirements. The vibrating or rotary motion helps to easily dislodge plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. Although same results can be obtained using a manual brush, but much more effort is needed to do so. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months because worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are far less damaging to gum tissue than the medium and hard bristle varieties. In addition, an appropriate sized ADA /IDA approved toothbrush should be chosen to allow proper cleaning of all the teeth. Teeth should ideally be brushed after each meal, or minimally twice each day for at least two minutes.
Dental floss is the most common interdental and subgingival (below the gum) cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavours. The floss itself is made from either thin nylon filaments or polyethylene ribbons, and can help remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Vigorous flossing with a floss holder can cause gum damage and bleeding, so great care should be taken while flossing. Floss should normally be used twice daily before brushing.
Interdental brushes are sometimes recommended in addition to dental floss. These tiny brushes are gentle on the gums and very effective in cleaning the contours of teeth in between the gums. Interdental brushes are available in various shapes and sizes.
Mouth rinse or mouthwash is a liquid solution that you swish around your entire mouth – teeth, gums and tongue – to help promote oral hygiene, reduce oral discomfort, provide moisture to oral tissues or help with bad breath. Mouth rinses are recommended, if you are at high risk of tooth decay, gum inflammation, dry mouth or gum disease. Mouth rinse also may be prescribed following oral surgery or scaling and root planing in order to promote healing, reduce microbial load and help with discomfort. Additionally, many therapeutic mouth rinses are strongly recommended for people who cannot brush due to physical impairments or medical conditions.
Oral irrigators, like Waterpik have been created to clean debris from below the gum line. Water is continuously sprayed from tiny jets into the gum pockets which can help remove harmful bacteria and food particles. Overall, oral irrigators have proven effective in lowering the risk of gum disease and should not be used instead of brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings are recommended at least twice annually to remove deeper debris.
Rubber Tip Stimulators
The rubber tip stimulator is an excellent tool for removing plaque from around the gum line and also for stimulating blood flow to the gums. The rubber tip stimulator should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day. Any plaque on the tip can be rinsed off with tap water. It is important to replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn, and to store the stimulator in a cool, dry place.
Tongue cleaners are special devices which have been designed to remove the buildup of bacteria, fungi and food debris from the tongue surface. The fungi and bacteria that colonize on the tongue have been related to halitosis (bad breath) and a great many systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and stroke. Tongue cleaning should be done prior to brushing to prevent the ingestion of fungi and bacteria.