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Your dental hygiene is only as good as the tools you are using to clean your mouth. This goes beyond the toothbrush. Here is the rundown of the kinds of things you should be looking for in your other oral hygiene tools.


Toothpaste: It is important to use an ADA approved toothpaste when brushing your teeth. Many kinds of toothpaste contain mildly abrasive ingredients that both clean and polish your teeth, without damaging tooth enamel.


Floss: Choose a single-filament dental floss. This will reduce the breakage and fraying of the floss while cleaning between teeth. Use only floss that has been approved by the ADA and is specifically designed for interdental cleaning. If you have trouble with conventional flossing, speak with Dr. Mandy Nicacio about interdental cleaning alternatives.


Mouthwash: Mouthwash can be an excellent addition to the oral health routines of some people. Not all mouthwashes are the same. Some, called cosmetic mouthwashes, only temporarily freshen your breath or mask it with a strong scent. Instead, choose what is called a therapeutic mouthwash. These mouthwashes not only freshen breath but also kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and halitosis.


Sugar-Free Gum: When you can, include sugar-free gum in your oral hygiene routine. Sugar-free gum cleans the mouth by stimulating saliva production. This is most efficacious when chewed for 20 minutes after eating. Sugared gum also stimulates saliva, of course, but the sugar present also feeds bacteria–this negates the good effects of the gum. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the package to ensure a quality chewing gum.


For more information, call Hermiston Dental Group in Hermiston, Oregon, at 541-567-4143. Dr. Mandy Nicacio and our whole team will be happy to help you!