Did you know that one in five children suffers from untreated tooth decay and that it is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States, according to the CDC? Taking preventive measures is essential to keep teeth healthy and prevent the damaging effects that come from tooth decay and other tooth diseases. Aside from making regular visits to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned, there are a number of dental care products that you can use at home to keep up your oral hygiene. A toothbrush is perhaps the most essential of all at-home preventive dental products, but there are others that can pick up where a toothbrush leaves off. Here are some of them:
- Dental Floss – It is recommended by dental experts that people floss their teeth at least once a day, yet a little over 18% say they don’t floss their teeth at all. Dental floss can help remove plaque from teeth and food that might get lodged in between teeth. While brushing your teeth is the first line of defense, toothbrushes can miss some food particles. Flossing helps get into the space between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Dental Picks – If you’ve been to a dental checkup before, you probably remember your dentist scraping away at your teeth with a pointy metal object with a hook at the end. These tools are called dental picks, and you can buy them at drugstores for use at home. Dental picks essentially serve the same purpose as floss, removing plaque and hidden food particles stuck between teeth. If you prefer to use a dental pick, make sure to follow the directions for use carefully. Proper use involves guiding the pointed end away from the gum line in between two teeth.
- Dental Scalers – Dental scalers are another tool that you have likely encountered during a regular dental cleaning. They can also be purchased at your local drugstore and are usually pretty inexpensive. Scalers remove plaque and stains from the surface of teeth, which helps keep teeth healthy and bright. Just like the dental pick, it is important to ensure you are using a dental scaler as directed to avoid harming teeth and gums. Using the flat, long edge of the scaler, scrape the front surface of each tooth, either above or below the gum line, and rinse any plaque off of the scaler between uses.
Removing plaque and excess pieces of food is essential for maintaing good oral hygiene and preventing tooth decay and other tooth diseases. These tools can all be purchased over the counter at your local drugstore and can help keep your teeth bright and healthy. Read this for more.