How to Spot Good Dental Products in the Grocery Store
- February 15, 2023
- 5 mins read
A mouth with white teeth, fresh breath, healthy gums, and a clean tongue is important to keep a confident smile. In order to achieve this, you need to have good dental products. Good oral care tools are important to maintain proper oral hygiene by effectively preventing plaque buildup, dental caries, bad breath, and periodontal diseases.
With the boom of the oral care market due to technology and innovation, customers are now more excited about oral hygiene. However, this also poses some confusion over what products are the best, especially since grocery store aisles are flooded with hundreds of dental product options.
The first thing to watch out for to ensure that you’re buying a good dental product is that the product should contain the ADA (Americal Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance. This seal assures consumers that the product has been thoroughly evaluated for efficacy and safety.
Below are other important factors to note when buying the most common dental products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss.
The goal of brushing the teeth is to remove food debris and plaque accumulating on the teeth as you eat. A soft-bristled toothbrush with a head size that fits easily in your mouth can do this job effectively, especially if coupled with good brushing techniques and habits. This kind of toothbrush should be able to easily pick up food debris from hard-to-reach places in the mouth and should be gentle on the teeth and gums.
It is also helpful to choose something with a comfortable handle so you can hold it at ease while brushing. In terms of bristle design, it is best to ask your dentist what fits best for you because some people benefit from traditional flat-brimmed bristles while others from angled bristles.
An electric toothbrush can be a good option, too, because it can position and rotate the brush correctly. Some electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer to ensure that the two-minute brushing rule is achieved. Furthermore, case studies have found that plaque can be reduced by 21% and gingivitis by 11% after three months of switching to electric toothbrushes.
Lastly, never take medium to hard-bristled toothbrushes because they tend to be too abrasive on your teeth. They can erode the gums and strip away the outer layers of enamel, increasing tooth sensitivity and cavity formation.
In general, toothpaste helps remove dental plaque and suppress bad breath. When purchasing a toothpaste, look for one that has fluoride as the active ingredient. According to ADA, this naturally occurring mineral helps strengthen the enamel to prevent tooth decay and remineralizes it in the early stage of tooth decay.
If you’re into organic, all-natural products, be mindful of the fluoride content because organic toothpaste brands claim that excessive fluoride in the body can be harmful, so many popular brands ditch fluoride as an active ingredient. Therefore, look for ADA-approved products to be sure that the toothpaste has the proper fluoride dose. Most products will contain approximately 600 to 1,500 ppm of fluoride.
Toothpaste also serves an additional purpose—whitening. However, most regular toothpaste does not whiten teeth despite their marketing claims. Effective whitening toothpaste should contain calcium peroxide and carbamide peroxide because these abrasive chemical compounds have the ability to bind stains on the teeth and help pull them out as you brush and rinse. If you have sensitive teeth and gums, you should consult first with your dentist for a better option because these whitening ingredients may worsen your condition. Furthermore, toothpaste products that treat sensitive teeth exist for those who have mild tooth sensitivity.
Mouthwashes can do more than just freshen your breath. They come in different types—antiseptic, plaque-inhibiting, and preventive.
Antiseptic mouthwash typically contains approximately 0.2% chlorhexidine, so it is often prescribed as an oral antiseptic. When picking antiseptic mouthwash, choose one that contains this compound so you can inhibit infection.
Plaque-inhibiting mouthwashes, on the other hand, contain various active ingredients such as antimicrobials and essential oils. They attack oral plaque biofilm at different stages of colonization to help control gum disease and tooth decay.
For preventive mouthwashes, look for one that contains fluoride. It helps prevent tooth decay and the reversal of early lesions of caries.
Adding flossing to your oral care routine completes the work not done by brushing the teeth alone. Dental floss can dislodge hard-to-reach food debris and even tartar that your toothbrush failed to reach. To learn more about why flossing is important, read The Dirty Tooth About Flossing Vs. Not Flossing.
When choosing your dental floss from the grocery, you have to be aware of the condition of your teeth to know which one to choose. For example, unwaxed floss comes as a thin nylon and slides more easily between tight spaces of the teeth. Waxed floss, on the other hand, is harder to work in tight spaces because it is relatively thicker. Therefore, if your teeth are tightly spaced, opting for a thinner floss is better. If you have teeth with large gaps in between, you may want to consider thicker varieties like woven floss or dental tape. And if you have limited dexterity in your hands, floss picks can be an ideal alternative. With a floss pick, you can reach the back of your teeth comfortably without wrapping the floss around your fingers, just like in traditional floss.
Whatever type of product you are looking for, it is always best to consider products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Since most products are designed for specific tooth conditions, it is always best to know your needs. If you have doubts, always seek your dentist’s advice.