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Any ADA approved toothpaste is fine. Specific types include Colgate Total (which uses an antimicrobial to reduce gingivitis), sensitivity protection, and dry mouth pastes . Decay prevention pastes include GC America’s MI paste with fluoride and a decay reducing high concentration of calcium and phosphorus. Other high fluoride concentration pastes are also available.
Manual and electric brushes can be equally effective if used correctly. However, electric brushes are especially effective for children, teens, anyone with arthritis or dexterity problems, patients with gingivitis or gum disease, and those with extensive bridgework. The two types are oscillating/rotating, and sonic vibrating.
Each tooth in the mouth has 5 sides. Brushing cleans only the 3 exposed areas. Imagine not brushing your teeth for days- this is what the unflossed areas in between are like! Flossing removes plaque, which is composed of food debris, living and dead bacteria. Plaque causes decay, gum disease, and a host of other dental problems. Remember, just floss the teeth you want to keep – every day!
The Diagnodent is a cavity detection device that uses a low powered laser to measure the fluorescence of the tooth structure. This allows detection of very small spots of decay before they could otherwise be found with x-ray or visual methods. The Diagnodent can also determine if a dark spot is really decay or should be left alone.
Interdental Cleaning Aids
In addition to floss, floss holders, interdental or proxybrushes, and “GUM Soft Picks” may be very useful in removing plaque and debris from the teeth.