With ever-increasing healthcare cost and people losing their jobs left and right what is one of the first things to go? If you answered eating out, hardly. However if you answered bi annual routine dental cleanings I'd say you're spot on. So if that's the case are our teeth headed the way of a third world country and what can we do about it? Clean your own teeth! And no I don't mean brushing your teeth with that tooth-brush that's been sitting in your bathroom for over a year, with bristles all flared out and a permanent stain in the middle of it. What I mean is getting a couple of long-lasting dental supplies that are top quality and made to thoroughly clean your choppers.
Alright so there's three types of dental tools you'll need to clean your own teeth, a dental pick, a scaler and a mirror. All of these should be of surgical steel not plastic. The great thing is they're easy to get and they are inexpensive. They can be found at any pharmacy or better yet on amazon. Now don't be intimidated by the fact that dental hygienist use these all the time to make a living. They've had tons of practice and so shall you. Using these tools goes right along with their names. The dental pick is used for getting in between the teeth in those hard to reach areas much like the toothpick, only on a more superior level. The scaler simply goes around the exterior of the teeth scraping off plaque as it passes by. And the mirror tool aids in all this by giving you a bird's-eye view of everything you can't see with your bathroom mirror. Now scrape and pick away that gunk off your teeth because we're moving on.
The Tooth Brush
You can choose a manual tooth-brush that will get the job done. But I prefer to go with something a bit more automated just to make sure that I'm getting the most out of my brushing even though I may not be willing to put in the effort. That being said there are a couple of options when it comes to mechanical toothbrushes. Some mechanical toothbrushes use a sonic technique while others use an orbital pattern to brush. Both techniques work equally well as long as the brush is throughly cleaning and polishing your teeth. I suppose let price be your guide when it comes to choosing.
Choosing the right toothpaste to clean your own teeth isn't only a matter of preference but also a choice of sensitivity. Some people have erosion of the gums from heavy brushing in certain areas of their mouths. These areas can become extremely sensitive causing discomfort and pain, so using a sensitive toothpaste specifically designed to treat sensitivity is the way to go. If that's not the case I'd shoot for something in the whitening department. After all we're trying to recreate the experience that those lovely dentist charge a lot for, so whiten up!
There are limitations to where tools and brushes can go, hence the need for floss. They come in a variety of styles and flavors. Probably the most beneficial and easiest to use is the waxed dental tape. It glides in easy and cleans more throughly than others. The most important thing is to glide up and down the sides of the teeth as opposed to just doing it is fast as you can and going thru the motions. It's also good to clean the floss as you go along.
It seems like there's as many different types of mouthwash as there are sports drinks. The biggest thing here is do you prefer to feel the burn? Many mouthwashes have alcohol on their ingredient list. This is the stinging feeling that most people equate to swishing which sometimes can be a hygiene turn off. If that's the case opt for a mouthwash that is alcohol free and rinse, rinse, rinse. For myself I prefer the burn as it mentally instills in me a sensation of clean, but to each their own.
Dental Tools, Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat
The real question is, "How often is this necessary?" "How often should you clean your own teeth?" Well society, aka the insurance companies, have engrained in us that every six months it's time for our dental cleaning. However, it's all a matter of preference. Of course continue brushing, flossing and using mouthwash on a daily basis. As for the dental tools, I tend to break them out once a week and give myself a thorough cleaning. It's an amazing feeling having that "I just walked out of the dentist office" clean mouth and it can become addictive. Now remember, this by no means is an equal substitute for going to a licensed dentist. It is important to get x-rays and have issues checked out that are giving you problems. But should you find yourself in between jobs or just needing that clean mouth feeling, applying a little DIY to your dental routine, can make good hygiene a little more attainable and a lot less expensive.