4 Things to Look Out for When Buying Dental Care Products
Everyone knows what makes up a good oral hygiene regime – brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, following by flossing. But are they enough to meet your oral care needs?
As we become more educated and spend more, perhaps it is wise to consider investing in other oral products that help us maintain a set of healthy teeth and a brilliant smile.
Getting the Correct Toothbrush
When brushing your teeth, you should always aim to remove plaque and food debris which accumulates as you eat. Aside from that, a good toothbrush must also be easy to handle, and is gentle on the teeth and gums. A soft-bristled toothbrush, together with good brushing technique and habits, will be more than capable of getting the job done.
On the other hand, medium to hard-bristled toothbrushes tend to be too abrasive on your teeth, which can erode the gums and result in cavities not caused by bacteria. Over-brushing can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity, as the outer layers of enamel are stripped away and exposing the inner layer of dentine, which is more sensitive.
Complimentary Tools – Interdental Brushes, Water Floss & Tongue Cleaners
As more dental treatments like implants become available, maintaining good oral health has become more challenging. If you find conventional toothbrushes inadequate in cleaning your teeth well, maybe you can complement it with an interdental brush. It can easily access and clean between your teeth and restorative materials to remove food debris and plaque.
For your elderly parents or the less dexterous, water flossers are a good alternative. They work by spraying a stream of water into the gaps between your teeth, and do not need much dexterous effort to achieve similar results.
One common misconception people have about their oral health is the issue of bad breath – they think brushing their teeth more frequently will get rid of it. However, bad breath actually comes from plaque stuck on the tongue. Many try to brush their tongue’s surface to remove the plaque, but its large surface area and microscopic hairy villi traps plaque and makes it difficult to remove.
A great tool to use here would be a tongue scraper. Simple and effective, it can make a significant difference to your oral health. You can test its effectiveness by licking the back of your hand before and after cleaning your tongue, and giving it a sniff.
Look Out for Active Ingredients That Help Your Teeth….
The active ingredients found in a dental product will make or break it, and you can identify them via the product’s packaging label. Keep a look out for the amount of fluoride, as it is one of the most effective ingredients to protect your teeth and combat tooth sensitivity and decay. Most products will contain approximately 600 to 1,500ppm of it.
There is also increasing use of naturally occurring alcohol sugars such as Sorbitol and Xylitol to improve the taste of oral care products like toothpastes, mouthwashes and chewing gums.
As these sugars cannot be digested by bacteria to create cavity-forming by-products such as acid, using products containing them reduces your risk of developing cavities. In fact, studies have also shown that they improve saliva flow, maintain pH in the mouth and lower the “acid attacks from bacterial by-products.
…And Those That Don’t
Another common ingredient found in oral care products is SLS, or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which causes bubbles and suds to form. When using products with SLS, people sensitive to it may find these suds irritating their gums and lips, causing redness and peeling. Those with canker sores will also find such products giving them discomfort. If you face these problems, avoid buying products with SLS.
As the demand for whiter teeth grows, more products, such as whitening toothpastes and whitening strips, are touting the ability to deliver that. But most fail to achieve it, as they lack one key ingredient: hydrogen peroxide compounds.
The truth is, a tooth’s natural colour is determined by the amount of light reflecting off its internal structure. Since these whitening products either only remove external stains using abrasive particles, or contain very small amounts of hydrogen peroxides to whiten teeth, some may not find them effective.
On the other hand, teeth whitening solutions prescribed by dentists uses carbamide peroxide to whiten your teeth. Used in safe concentrations (up to 35%) and under your dentist’s direction, it will break down into the active whitening products that penetrate deep into your teeth structure, making this method more effective in giving you that confident white smile.
About Raffles Dental
In Singapore, Raffles Dental provides a comprehensive range of services to prevent, diagnose and treat dental and oral diseases. Conveniently located islandwide, we are dedicated to providing the highest standard of professional care and service.