Lisa’s Product Recommendations
I am a fan of the Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrush. I have some recession from being an aggressive brusher in the past. The Phillips Sonicare protective clean has a built in pressure sensor so if you are pressing too hard, it pulses to let you know. This sonic technology is proven to remove seven times more plaque than a manual toothbrush can. It also has a two minute quadpacer timer so you can make sure you are spending the proper amount of time brushing each area of the mouth. I like to use the sensitive heads (HX6053164). If I do use a manual toothbrush for some reason, I’m not too fussy on the brand but always make sure it has soft or extra soft bristles.
My favorite floss is Listerine Ultraclean dental floss. It is a dental tape, so a little thicker and more shred resistant than some. It seems to get into tight areas without breaking, but because it’s wider, also works well if you have spaces or food traps between the teeth.
Many of my patients do not floss (shocker!) or find it difficult and frustrating. Big hands and fingers, floss shredding or breaking…I get it! BUT, the bacteria that cause decay and gum disease love to live in between the teeth and under the gum tissue, so removing plaque and debris that collect in these areas is very important to prevent disease. For those who have trouble working with traditional floss, I recommend GUM soft picks. These interdental cleaners are especially great for food traps. Sometimes I even dip them into fluoride rinse or gel to help strengthen the tooth enamel.
Waterpiks are a Godsend for ortho patients. They are great for flushing debris from between all that hardware. I also recommend Waterpiks for adult patients who have a lot of food traps. The biggest thing to remember when using a Waterpik is to angle the nozzle horizontally between the teeth contacts. If the nozzle is angled down into the gum it could actually force plaque and debris down into the pockets around the teeth doing more harm than good. If used properly, Waterpiks can really help with oral hygiene. Adding a little Listerine or fluoride mouth rinse can give you another layer of protection.
I have five people in my family and believe it or not, I have five different kinds of toothpaste in my bathroom drawer. The mechanical action of the brush and floss on the tooth surface is truly what removes plaque and debris. Most toothpaste has fluoride which strengthens the enamel, but mostly it gives a pleasant taste as you brush. I always tell patients to use whatever toothpaste makes your mouth feel the freshest. As long as it is approved by the ADA it is A-OK with me! The only time I make a toothpaste recommendation is if a patient has trouble with thermal sensitivity and then I always recommend Sensodyne or whatever brand sensitive formula flavor you like best. I myself use Aim toothpaste. I like the flavor and it is super cheap!
For rinses, I recommend ACT Fluoride Rinse if you tend to be more prone to decay and Listerine if you have had gingivitis or gum disease. Keep in mind, you can’t really swish mouth rinses under the gumline and this is where the bacteria hides. Again, another plug for flossing!
Because I have some gum recession, I like to use MI Paste Plus before bed. When you have recession, the roots of your teeth become exposed. This can come from aggressive brushing, clenching or gum disease. The cementum is the material that covers the root surface. It is much softer than tooth enamel and more vulnerable to decay and further breakdown. MI Paste Plus contains Recaldent — a protein that releases bio-available calcium, phosphate and fluoride onto the teeth. It adds an extra layer of protection to the root surface and also helps with sensitivity. We have MI Paste Plus available for purchase right at the office.
If you have any questions about these or any other dental products, I would be happy to discuss them with you at your next preventive check up. Look forward to seeing you!