Oral Hygiene Aids

Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and diagnosing potential problems. Of course, proper oral homecare routines are essential on a daily basis to maintain dental health and avoid future dental problems.

Gum disease (Gingivitis) leads to bone loss (Periodonal disease or Periodontitis)  which is the leading cause of tooth loss in the developed world, and is completely preventable in the vast majority of cases. Regular Professional cleanings combined with your daily self-care routine is important to minimize the disease-causing bacteria and plaque, which will also result in a more beautiful healthy smile!

There are numerous types of oral hygiene aids available on the market, and it can be difficult to determine which will provide the best benefit to your teeth. Our dental team can advise which aids are best suited to your needs and guide you in their proper use.

Here are some of the most common oral hygiene aids for homecare:

Dental Floss

Dental floss is the most common interdental and subgingival (below the gum) cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavors. The floss itself is made from either thin nylon filaments or polyethylene ribbons, and can help remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Proper flossing technique is key to prevent soft tissue damage, so great care should be taken. Floss should normally be used once or twice daily after brushing.

Interdental Cleaners

We may recommend interdental brushes in addition to dental floss. These tiny brushes are gentle on the gums and very effective in cleaning the contours of teeth in between the gums. Interdental brushes come in various shapes and sizes. 

Mouth Rinses

There are two basic types of mouth rinse available: Cosmetic rinses which are sold over the counter and temporarily suppress bad breath, and therapeutic rinses which may or may not require a prescription. Most dentists are skeptical about the benefits of cosmetic rinses because several studies have shown that their effectiveness against plaque is minimal. Therapeutic rinses however, are regulated by the government and contain active ingredients that can help reduce bad breath, plaque, and cavities. Mouth rinses should generally be used after brushing.

Oral Irrigators

Oral irrigators, like Water Jets and Waterpiks have been created to clean debris between teeth and below the gumline. Water is continuously sprayed from tiny jets into the gum pockets which can help remove food particles. Oral irrigators should NOT replace brushing and flossing, as friction on the teeth is essential to best remove plaque. 

Rubber Tip Stimulators

The rubber tip stimulator is an excellent tool for removing plaque from around the gum line and especially to stimulate blood flow to the gums to help keep them healthy and firm. The rubber tip stimulator should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day. Any plaque on the tip can be rinsed off with tap water. It is important to replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn, and to store the stimulator in a cool, dry place.

Tongue Scrapers

Tongue scrapers are an excellent aid to remove the buildup of bacteria, fungi and food debris from the tongue surface. The fungi and bacteria that colonize on the tongue have been related to halitosis (bad breath) and a great many systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and stroke.  Tongue scraping should be done prior to brushing to prevent the ingestion of fungi and bacteria.


There are a great many toothbrush types available. Electric toothbrushes are generally recommended by dentists because electric brushes are much more effective than manual brushes. The vibrating or rotary motion helps to easily dislodge plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. The same results can be obtained using a manual brush, but much more effort is needed to do so.

Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every three months because worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are recommended over medium and hard bristle varieties to prevent damage to your gums. In addition, an appropriate sized CDA approved toothbrush should be chosen to allow proper cleaning to all the teeth. Teeth should ideally be brushed after each meal, or minimally twice each day.

If you have any questions about oral hygiene aids, please do not hesitate to ask! 


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