One of the most frequent question my patients ask me is “what is the best tooth paste?”. My answer is always, tooth paste doesn’t really matter that much. What’s more important is the brushing and flossing frequency, duration and reach.
The tooth brush should reach all surfaces of the teeth properly, and for long enough time. The recommended brushing time is two minutes for adults and at least one minute for kids. Most of my patients brush the front teeth from the outside properly. However the back teeth and the inside surfaces get shortchanged.
Please remember that the floss is a brush that can be inserted in-between to clean the teeth and the gum tissue. So if you are only brushing, you are not cleaning more than 60% of the tooth surfaces. Flossing will take care of the rest. Water picks and proxy-brushes are also nice tools to use when cleaning in between the teeth. Rinsing with a mouth wash will not substitute brushing and flossing.
If you have fillings, crowns, implants your teeth are not immune to decay, and gum disease, as many of my patients think. In fact the brushing and flossing become more important. Most tooth pastes available over the counter have Sodium Fluoride as their active ingredient, along with some abrasive and base. Parents should pay attention that the little kids would not swallow tooth paste. It’s also worth mentioning that you only need tooth paste the size of a pea when you brush.
uring your check ups and cleaning in our office, we routinely give our patients tips, and feedback about ways to improve oral hygiene. Remember the old saying goes “brush and floss only the teeth that you want to keep”.