At Aspen Grove Dental, we love to hear that our patients are doing everything they can to take care of their teeth between visits. It ensures your long-term dental health and makes visits more pleasant for everyone involved.
Today, you have the benefit of hundreds of product choices to help you maintain your smile between visits. But, not all products (or their ingredients) are as helpful as they claim.
We wanted to share some consumer information that may surprise you and will definitely help you separate the hype from the helpful when it comes to making choices about your personal dental routine.
Hard/Stiff Bristle Toothbrushes
When it comes to getting things clean, a hard scrubbing seems like just the thing. People often (wrongly) apply this same logic to the toothbrush they choose. Hard bristle toothbrushes can irritate your gums. Brushing correctly with a soft-bristle brush will clean your teeth just as well with less risk of harm.
Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening
White teeth say healthy teeth and we love to see you with a bright, shining smile. Over-the-counter treatments like whitening strips or brush-on gels are attractive options because they’re less expensive than professional treatments. Unfortunately, they often leave you disappointed with the time you invested, the money you spent and the lackluster results. There's also a chance you could experience complications caused by underlying problems like cavities, gum disease or unknown sensitivities. That’s why the American Dental Association strongly recommends consulting with your dentist. We can talk with you about all the options and help you choose one that gives you the glowing and healthy results you want.
Maintaining your hard-earned white smile by brushing with whitening toothpaste seems like a good maintenance plan. Some whitening toothpastes use polyethylene microbeads (plastic) to scrub your teeth and remove topical stains. The effectiveness of these plastics hasn't been fully proven and the health risks are unknown. Fortunately, if you’d rather not ingest a plastic bottle in microbites, you can accomplish the same results regular cleaning visits.
You may be spitting your money down the drain if you're by choosing the wrong mouthwash. Many over-the-counter mouthwashes offer only short-term relief from bad breath and some could have potential side effects that you want to avoid. Mouthwashes can contain as much as 20 percent alcohol and chlorhexidine which some studies have linked to oral cancer. The only mouthwash we recommend you use every day is one with fluoride. If you're over 30 and have some gum recession, require additional fluoride, or need a bacterial mouth rinse because you’re susceptible to oral bacteria, we can recommend a safe, more effective mouthwash for your personal situation.
State and Federal governments have been supplementing the public water supply with fluoride since the mid-1940's and research has shown that it's played a significant role in preventing tooth decay and cavities. But a recent report showed that, on average, Americans are consuming 30 gallons of bottled water each year. If you're someone who's choosing bottled water over tap to avoid harmful contaminants, you may need to supplement your fluoride intake. We recommend dental varnish treatments as part of your regular office visits and can help you decide if a safe fluoride wash would benefit you.
Aspen Grove Dental is committed to helping you maintain good oral health while you’re in the chair and while you’re out in your day-to-day life because good oral hygiene promotes good overall health.
Have a question about a product you’re using and its effect on your oral health?
Aspen Grove Dental is always available to answer your questions. Call us at (615) 790-8494. We're here to help.