In the effort to help you navigate the dental aisle more effectively today’s post is all about mouthwash.Fotolia_11193129_XS-300x225 So, what is the best mouthwash  for you? There are a lot of products to choose from that is for sure. Between rinses that whiten, freshen your breath, reduce plaque and so on, the choices are endless. First and foremost you should know what you are looking for in a mouthwash and what some of the key ingredients are. Here is a little “how-to” regarding picking out the best mouthwash for you. Generally,  most of the population can make great use out of a daily fluoride rinse as well as a general mouthwash to aid in reduction of harmful bacteria. We also suggest a regimen that includes a rinse to reduce acidity in the oral environment

  • Anti-septic and anti-plaque: these products have ingredients that kill bacteria that can cause gingivitis, plaque and bad breath. Some of the ingredients used to do this are: Cetylpyridinium Chloride or (CPC), Domiphen Bromide, or denatured alcohol.  And, most have about 20-25% effectiveness in reducing the plaque the causes gingivitis.
  • Whitening: This usually means that there is some percentage of hydrogen peroxide included in the rinse. Most over the counter products will have a percentage that is under 10% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Fluoride: This is a product that helps to strengthen enamel helping to reduce cavities
  • Sodium Saccharin, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Sodium Cyclamate: These ingredients flavor the toothpaste.
  • Propylene Glycol, Glycerol, and Polyethylene Glycol: These ingredients help keep the rinse moist and have a good mouth feel
  • Sodium Benzoate and Methyl Paraben: These ingredients aid in stopping the rinse from decaying or growing bacteria.
Discuss with your dentist which products are best for you. Depending on your oral environment you may have a different regimen than another person. Also, age and health may change which type of rinse is the best mouthwash for you.]]>

Fotolia_194988_XS-300x200 The basics: Generally there are two types of floss: Rope and Tape.  They are either waxed or un-waxed. Tape: a flat string usually made of a smooth material: this is the type of floss that we recommend the most due to the ease of use between tight teeth and teeth with a lot of restorative work such as fillings and crowns. Rope: this is usually a braided or round string or rope that can be covered in wax or not, depending on your preference. I tend to avoid this type of floss due to the difficulty of use. Often times if you have tightly contacting teeth this type tends to fray or break more often than a tape will. Specialty floss and floss threaders: There are a series of flosses and floss threaders that are made specifically to be used around bridge work and braces. Super Floss is a brand that I recommend often for patients because it is a thick and spongy  floss with a flexible plastic end that is relatively easy to use underneath bridgework and around orthodontic brackets. Dental Flossers: these are small plastic handles with floss attached at the end, most often a rope type of floss. My opinion on floss threaders is, if you find that you can not or will not use any other type of floss then they can be used. But I rarely recommend them since you lack the ability to maneuver them around the teeth appropriately and can do a little damage to the gums if the patient is not careful when using them. Water pics and Air flossers: these are electric tools similar to an electric tooth brush that either use air or water to force debris out from in between teeth and out from under restorative work. My opinion on these tools is that while I believe that they have improved water pics and air flossers immensely in the past few years, they are an adjunct to the use of regular floss.  The use of regular dental floss is still the gold standard.]]>