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If you’ve ever stood in front of the toothbrush and toothpaste selection at your favorite store, you know how confusing it can be to choose the right ones for you. Add onto that the choices in floss, mouthwash, mouth rinses, and water irrigation devices and the choices can be staggering. Selecting the correct dental tools for at home use is important. Ask your doctor for their recommendations and use the following information to help you choose the right tools.


Most doctors recommend using a soft bristle brush which is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth. Soft bristles are best because they remove plaque and debris from your teeth and gum line, but are gentle and won’t cause damage. A powered toothbrush is also an excellent choice and does a better job of cleaning your teeth and gums. You should replace your toothbrush ever three months, or as soon as it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Choose a soft nylon brush for your child. Begin as soon as their teeth start to emerge and choose a toothbrush that fits easily in their mouth.


A toothpaste which contains fluoride will help strengthen and protect your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which helps to remineralize your teeth and make them stronger. It is safe and effective for adults and children. You can find toothpastes with many different benefits. Whitening toothpaste and toothpaste for sensitive teeth are a few examples. When choosing a toothpaste for your child, look for one that tastes good and has fluoride. Ask your doctor which type of toothpaste is right for you and your family.

Mouthwashes and Mouth Rinses

A mouthwash and a mouth rise are two different products. Mouthwashes are antibacterial and help prevent plaque and freshen your breath. Mouth rinses coat your teeth with fluoride and help to strengthen them as well as freshen your breath. When choosing one for your child, be sure to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash or mouth rinse.


You should floss twice a day for healthy gums. Floss comes in many different coatings, sizes, flavors, and forms. You can also get floss in a holder to make it easier to use. Which type of floss is a personal preference. Choose a coated floss if uncoated irritates your gums. Children should floss once a day under parent’s supervision.

Water Irrigation Devices

Water irrigation devices are very effective for removing food between your teeth. Children, teens, and adults who wear braces or other orthodontic appliances find these devices handy for removing food and debris around and in the device as well as between the teeth and at the gum line. Water irrigation devices are also effective in reduction of gingivitis, bleeding gums, and plaque accumulation.
Of course, you should still keep up with your twice a year dental checkups to maintain optimal oral health, but knowing the best tools to use at home will give you an extra hedge or protection. If you have questions about the tools you need, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today.