Currently, the market has many dental products available over–the–counter at drug stores, grocery stores, and large discount wholesale stores. The major types of products that the consumer can buy directly include toothpaste, tooth brushes, dental floss, mouth rinses, mints and sprays for bad breath, and teeth whitening products which include whitening strips and liquid paint–on gel tooth whiteners. As both a dental patient and a consumer, you should try various products until you find dental products that are satisfactory for your needs and desires. Your Bellevue Dentist or Seattle Dentist can help you evaluate many of these dental products.

The major dental products that are used to maintain good oral health are toothbrushes and toothpaste. Both of these two types of products come in an large number of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Your choice of a toothbrush should be one that has a handle that fits your hand well and doesn′t turn or rotate while you are brushing your teeth. Many of the newer brushes have bristles that are at different angles to help get in between your teeth. Bellevue Dentists and Seattle Dentists recommend the use a either a soft–bristled toothbrush or a medium–bristled toothbrush. You should replace your toothbrush frequently and be sure to change it when the bristles begin to flatten out. The dentists and hygienists at Brookside Dental will give you a complementary toothbrush at each hygiene visit you make to the office. The brushes that we give our patients are very high quality, because we want your brushing experience to be a healthy and pleasant one. When brushing your teeth, be sure to brush all the surfaces of your teeth, your gums, and don′t forget to brush your tongue. You also may want to try one of the newer electric toothbrushes which will do most of the work for you.

Tooth paste comes in many flavors. A nice mint flavored toothpaste with fluoride will give you protection against both bad breath and tooth decay. It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day for optimum results. Flossing your teeth is essential to the removal of the plaque and tartar accumulations around the teeth and along the gum line. Your Bellevue Dentists or Seattle Dentists advocate flossing at least once a day, because the areas between the teeth are extremely hard to reach with just a toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes will do a better job at getting between the teeth than will regular hand held toothbrushes. There are other dental products, such as water picks or water flossers, that are very good for assistance in the removal of plaque and tartar build–up around your teeth and gums.

Mouthwashes and rinses can be important in the prevention of gum disease, especially a prescription mouth wash. Fluoride rinses can be effective in limiting tooth decay. Mouthwashes can help eliminate bad breath and the removal of unsightly food particles. Food particles between teeth usually must be removed by brushing or flossing. Rinses for children, such as those containing fluoride, can help make sure they develop strong and healthy teeth. Most of mint flavored mouthwashes only mask bad breath, rather than eliminating the source of the problem. Many times the source of bad breath is periodontal disease, which should be professionally treated by your Bellevue Dentist or Seattle Dentist or by a specialist called a periodontist. For additional periodontal information see The American Academy of Periodontology www.perio.org.

Whitening strips for bleaching teeth were first available to the retail marketplace in 2000. These whitening strips are intended to provide people a method that they can achieve tooth whitening results similar to those given by whitening trays produced in a dental office for home use and for one–hour dental in–office whitener delivery systems. There are also paint–on liquid gel tooth whiteners available over–the–counter that offer at home tooth whitening without the required use of bleaching trays or whitening strips. It has been our experience at Brookside Dental that both types of over–the–counter teeth whitening products (strips and paint–on gels) do not achieve the same whitening effect as do the two types of whitening done at your Bellevue Dentists and Seattle Dentists offices. We often have people come into our office for professional whitening after they have had unsatisfactory results with the over–the–counter tooth whitening products. However, one thing that these over–the–counter tooth whitening products do is make many more people aware of their teeth and that there are many cosmetic dental procedures that they can have done that will greatly enhance their smiles, such as porcelain veneers and crowns, dental implants, laser gum contouring, and limited tooth movement cosmetic orthodontia.

Over–the–counter dental products should never be considered as a substitute for regular visits to your Brookside Dental professional.