Brushing and flossing are important, but there’s more to good oral hygiene than just toothbrushes and dental floss. Your mouth has many surfaces, all of which need to be kept clean daily. And some dental care products act as improvements upon the old standbys. Here are just a few oral hygiene tools you may not be aware of.
Tongue Scrapers. Keeping your tongue clean can not only remove another possible anchor for harmful bacteria, but it can also help control morning breath. Tongue scrapers are thin, flexible bands that you draw across the top of your tongue. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and are extremely easy and quick to use.
Disposable Flossers. For flossing on the go, or quick touchups, disposable pick offer the perfect purse-or-pocket solution. A single, short piece of floss is held between two plastic prongs, which are attached to a small plastic handle. They can also be used for your daily flossing routine, though traditional dental floss rolls are still more cost-effective for frequent use.
Bite Guards (Splints). Another way to prevent decay is to prevent unnecessary damage to your enamel. If you grind your teeth at night, you can literally wear away the enamel (the hardest substance in your body) and reveal the sensitive dentin underneath. Nighttime bite splints won’t necessarily stop you from grinding, but they will keep the grinding from ruining your teeth.
Dental Picks. You may not know it, but you can purchase the same kind of tools your dentist uses to clean your teeth — dental picks. These are the same thin, metal probes and scrapers that the professionals use, though more affordable. Ask your dentist for tips on using them at home.
Sugar-Free Chewing Gum. Sometimes the best solution is the most natural one. Not the gum itself, but what the gum produces — saliva. Saliva is your body’s best and easiest method for rinsing and cleaning your mouth. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands and helps wash away unwanted food particles. Just be sure to get the sugarless kind. Good refereneces.