Dentistry is a field of healthcare that is always rapidly advancing and improving. The technology that dentists have in our practices certainly has changed and gotten better over the years. We stay on top of the latest breakthroughs to provide you the best care when you visit us, and you could be doing the same at home with your dental hygiene routine. Here are a few ways you can put the latest technology to work for your smile at home.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
The data isn’t totally conclusive, but recent studies indicate that an electric toothbrush does a slightly better job at reducing plaque and gingivitis inflammation than a manual toothbrush. There are several types of electric toothbrushes and the most common have vibrating brush heads (like Sonicare or Quip) or rotating brush heads (like Oral-B or Goby). In addition to the possible advantage that this enhanced motion provides when cleaning teeth, many dentists also like patients to use electric toothbrushes because many of them have built-in timers that make sure you brush for the full two minutes that we recommend for optimal dental hygiene.
Use a Water Flosser
While dental floss has been around since the 1880s, there are newer options for cleaning between your teeth. Water flossers have only been around since the 1960s, and thankfully they keep getting cheaper and smaller. Also called an oral irrigator or known by the brand name Waterpik, a water flosser is a small machine that uses a pulsing jet of water to gently remove plaque and debris from between teeth. While there’s no definitive answer yet, studies indicate that water flossing may be more effective than using dental floss. This may be especially true for patients with braces or oral appliances like dental bridges. If you’ve had trouble making flossing a regular part of your dental hygiene routine, try using a water flosser instead. Many patients find it more convenient and enjoyable.
Internet Subscription Services
A very common mistake that people make in their dental hygiene routine is using a worn out toothbrush. Over time, a toothbrush’s bristles get bent and mishapen, making them much less effective at getting into the nooks and crannies of your teeth. While we recommend that people replace their brushes every three months or so, not everyone does. Some companies have caught on to this trend and now offer subscription services for toothbrushes (and floss and toothpaste) that will automatically send you a new toothbrush at the right time.
If you shop on Amazon, you can set up a subscription through their website to send you a new toothbrush or brush replacement head on a regular basis. Independent subscription services include Boka and Quip. If subscription services don’t appeal to you, we recommend using the calendar app on your phone to set a reminder every three months to go buy a new toothbrush!