Honestly, any toothpaste you like is fine with me. Learn more about flouride ingredients below. I have two small caveats: 1. Please please please do not use an abrasive, gritty toothpaste. 2. If you notice any burning feeling, or sloughing of your gum/cheek/lip tissue, switch to a different kind of toothpaste.
Fluoride helps by bonding to the outer layer of your teeth, called enamel. Enamel is primarily made of hydroxyapatite, which is a crystal itself. It, in turn, is made of calcium, phosphorous, hydrogen, and oxygen. Fluoride bonds with hydroxyapatite, making it less porous and less susceptible to cavities. Fluoride can stop minor decay and even reverse it by remineralizing the enamel! Fluoride is best utilized when applied topically which means toothpaste, mouthwash, and an in-office application twice a year that occurs at the end of your cleaning appointment. Using fluoride is easier and less expensive than getting a filling!
The only exception to this is children under the age of 6. If your child is under the age of 2, I recommend a non-fluoridated toothpaste. If your child is between 2-6, you may consider a children’s fluoridated toothpaste, if your child can reliably spit the toothpaste out and not swallow it. If you are suspicious your child is swallowing the toothpaste, continue using non-fluoridated toothpaste until they are old enough to remember to spit it out.
If you have concerns about fluoride, please don’t hesitate to bring them up. I am happy to talk with you about them! You may also consider toothpaste with nano-hydroxyapatite in it. This will be more difficult to find, but it provides a very efficient non-fluoride option that has also been shown to remineralize teeth. If you’re interested, here’s a research article on nano-hydroxyapatite.
I feel the same way about toothbrushes as I do about toothpaste. My biggest concerns are: 1. Are you using it, and 2. are you using it properly. When you come in, we can discuss my tips for using an electric toothbrush. In addition, you can bring your toothbrush in when you come in for your cleaning. Let us see how you’re brushing and what your bristles look like.
It seems like when you go to the grocery store, there’s only one or two kinds of floss available. But honestly, there are so many kinds! Just use it! Floss differs in that there are types that can be better suited for each individual. In the office, we carry Listerine brand; it is what I prefer for me and my patients. I like a floss that has some texture to it to get all the gunk out from between the teeth, is comfortable when it wraps around the fingers, and is easy to maneuver around the teeth. It should also be efficient, meaning that it should cover a decent amount of area between the teeth. Not sure if you’re flossing correctly? Click here for instructions.
Personally, I use ACT mouthwash but I recommend any mouthwash with sodium fluoride as the active ingredient. If the sodium fluoride is 0.02% it is to be used twice a day. If it is 0.05%, use it once a day.