Selecting the right toothbrush for you and your family
Each individual is unique and there are no fixed rules for selecting a toothbrush. The factors that help in choosing your toothbrush are:
1. There are basically two varieties of toothbrush available. They are manual which is operated manually and electrical which is battery operated. In India, manual toothbrushes are most commonly used. Electrical brushes are automatic and clean teeth by moving in a set pattern.
Preferences are individual based.
2. Tooth brush should be chosen based on the mouth size. Individuals with small stature or for children, toothbrush with smaller head is easier to handle. Toothbrush with large head can be quite uncomfortable for them, whereas these brushes might not clean all teeth in people with huge personality and big mouth.
3. Toothbrushes are available in various flexibilities and diameters.
Hard bristles generally apply higher pressure over teeth and can wear out the top layers of teeth. So please avoid them.
Medium bristles are generally ideal for all as their teeth cleaning efficiency is above average.
Soft bristles are used in children and for people with sensitive teeth. These toothbrushes are also good in people who are aggressive brushers.
Ultra-soft bristles of a toothbrush are generally suggested following gum surgery and for infant teeth.
4. Based on the type of bristle arrangement there are different indications for choosing the right toothbrush.
Wavy or Criss-cross bristle brushes reach difficult to reach areas of mouth and below the gum margins. Hence they might be chosen.
Some toothbrushes have polishing cups which help to clear stains from teeth surface. They can be your choice if you tend to develop stains on your teeth.
5. Choose the toothbrush with handle that is long, flexible enough to reach backside teeth with slip prevention grip handle to prevent accidental slipping of the toothbrush from hand.
How do you choose the right toothpaste for members of your family?
We all have learnt and taught our kids about good habits. We begin our day with brushing our teeth. Well, is it just brushing or proper brushing we should be concerned about? Now it is a big confusion. So many branded toothbrushes and toothpastes are available. Over and above, there are medicated toothpastes as well. The question is which one is suitable for me and for my family?
Let us take a dive to know about toothpastes.
Toothpastes are available in gel, paste and powder form. Choosing one is based on your personal preference.
Any branded toothpaste has generally the following components.
Abrasives to remove stains, flavouring agents to make the paste palatable, humectants for moisture retention, detergents, preservatives and other ingredients In minor quantities.
This kind of toothpaste is efficient enough to clean all teeth and to keep the mouth fresh for extended periods.
There are some medicated toothpastes available as well. These should be chosen based on the suggestion from a dental surgeon. Some of such toothpastes are:
Fluoride is a mineral which can reduce incidence of tooth cavities. It can also re-mineralise cavities in the early stages. Fluoride containing toothpastes are thus advised for people with increased risk of tooth cavities.
The catch is, fluoride when ingested in higher quantities can get deposited in bones and be deleterious to general health. Hence its use should be restricted to kids above 5 years and for adults who have control on their swallow reflex.
Tartar is the hard deposit that gets collected over the surfaces of teeth. They harbour microorganisms are indicated for people who have higher tendency to develop deposits over their teeth which get hardened over time.
These toothpastes contain triclosan, chemical compounds like pyrophospahates and zinc citrate
Sensitivity in teeth on consuming hot or cold food or beverages is a quite common problem. Toothpastes which reduce sensitivity contain potassium nitrate and other ingredients. Sensitivity in teeth is due to opening of channels in dentine of teeth with nerve fibres to variations in the mouth environment. Desensitising toothpastes block these channels and thus reduce pain or discomfort.
These contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide which lighten the tooth colour. Thus they make teeth look whiter and brighter. But they are not advisable in the long run as there is risk of enamel loss and tooth sensitivity.
They are milder in action, have little or no fluoride and contain various flavouring agents to make the paste more acceptable to kids.
It is not only what kind of toothbrush or paste you have chosen, but also the method of using them is what matters the most. Cultivate proper brushing techniques, reduce snacks in between food, increase fluid intake, chewing sugar free gums all reward you with strong teeth for lifetime.
What is a mouthwash?
Mouthwash, mouth rinse, oral rinse is a liquid which is held in the mouth passively or swilled around the mouth by contraction of the perioral muscles and/or movement of the head, and may be gargled, where the head is tilted back and the liquid bubbled at the back of the mouth.
Usually mouthwashes are an antiseptic solution intended to reduce the microbial load in the oral cavity, although other mouthwashes might be given for other reasons such as for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory or anti-fungal action. Additionally, some rinses act as saliva substitutes to neutralize acid and keep the mouth moist in Xerostomia (dry mouth). Cosmetic mouth rinses temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste
What is a Gum Paint?
Gum Paint is a topical solution which contains antiseptic agents combined with tanning agents. It is applied locally on gums in severe bacterial infections and inflammatory conditions.
What are the indications for the usage of gum paint?
Gum Paints and gel are used in painful gum conditions, teething pain, mouth ulcer (aphthous ulcer), irritation of gum and cold sores.
Tannic acid in gum paint has been used as an astringent for the mucus membranes of the mouth and throat.
Gum paints are the combination of antiseptics and tanning agents which precipitate proteins but do not penetrate cells thereby affecting only the superficial layer making it mechanically stronger and decreases exudation.
They have germicidal, fungicidal, anesthetic and healing properties
Gum Paint - What is the mechanism of action?
Iodine in the gum paint acts as antiseptic and anti-infective. Iodine has powerful bactericidal action, quickly gets to work killing bacteria and viruses.
Tannic acid acts as astringent for the mucous membrane of the mouth. It forms a film of protein ‘tannate’ that acts as mechanical protective layer.
Menthol acts as local analgesic and gives sensation of coolness which gives some relief from the pain.
Camphor acts as mild analgesic.
What is the method of application of gum paint?
For application of gum paint take a drop or two of gum paint in your hand and with finger you can massage the gums using clockwise and anticlockwise motion of the finger. The gum paint is very effective if used after doing the warm salt water gargling
What are the precautions to be taken following its application?
Do not rinse with water or eat/drink anything for 10 minutes after the application of gum paint.