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Your Guide to Dental Care Products

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How Do I Choose a Powered Toothbrush?

There are many options when it comes to powered toothbrushes:

  • Sonic toothbrushes make 30,000 and 40,000 brush strokes per minute, compared with about 300 per minute if you brush by hand. The bristles rotate in the dentist recommended back-and-forth motion. Plus, the brush directs fluid between teeth and below the gum line to remove plaque (only sonic toothbrushes can make this claim).
  • Electric toothbrushes make 3,000 and 7,500 strokes per minute. Designs differ, but bristles are typically either set in a round head and all spin together or individual tufts within the brush head spin independently. Some rotate and pulse to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.

Water Picks

Water picks, also known as oral water irrigators, aren’t for everyone. They work best if you have braces or other dental work that traps food. They don’t remove plaque; only brushing with toothpaste and flossing can do that.

Mouthwashes and Rinses

Mouthwash can do more than simply freshen your breath -- it can ward off gum disease. But that’s only if you use a bacteria-fighting rinse after you brush and floss. A product with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Rinsing with an alcohol-based mouthwash isn’t good for children under 6, who are likely to swallow the liquid. Ask your dentist which type is best for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on October 26, 2014
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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Answer:
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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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