Use these products to keep your teeth clean and healthy

A good oral care regimen is key to keeping your teeth healthy. There are plenty of dental care products available to choose from that will help you maintain good mouth health.

What Is Best for Cleaning Teeth?

Keeping teeth clean results from practicing daily dental care. That starts with brushing. Brush at least twice daily using a soft-bristled brush and an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Replace your brush every three to four months.

Complement brushing with regular flossing, eating a balanced diet low in sugars, and having regular cleanings by a dentist.


Toothpaste is one of the main cogs in keeping your teeth healthy. But not all kinds of toothpaste are the same. Different types have different features. Some prevent decay, plaque, and gingivitis. Others help whiten teeth or are designed for folks who have tooth sensitivities. Discuss the right type for you with your dentist.

Choosing the right toothpaste depends on your mouth’s needs.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride aids tooth enamel in a couple of ways. First, it helps enamel become as strong as necessary to resist cavities and decay. Once teeth are fully formed, it helps the enamel remain strong. Fluoride also has a remineralizing effect. It helps rebuild weakened enamel so that teeth stay protected.

Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste

Hydroxyapatite helps make up tooth enamel, dentin, and cementum. It is a naturally occurring mineral that makes teeth and bones hard and strong. Using a toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite helps with enamel restoration and remineralization too.

Charcoal Toothpaste 

Charcoal toothpaste contains activated charcoal. During its production, it is treated to become extremely porous. The surface binds to stains, tartar, bacteria, and viruses. This helps remove them from teeth.

Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

There are a couple of reasons to opt for fluoride-free toothpaste: the age of children and allergy issues.

Some parents might not want their very young children to use toothpaste with fluoride due to the possibility of dental fluorosis — the discoloration or pitting of the teeth.

Talk to your physician if you suspect you have a fluoride allergy. You’ll want to ensure you get enough from the foods you consume.

Whitening Toothpaste 

Whitening toothpastes work in a couple of different ways. One type removes surface stains by polishing the teeth. This removes discoloration caused by food and drinks.

The other type uses bleaching agents to change the color of your teeth. This method works faster and lasts longer.

Electric toothbrushes offer benefits that manual brushes don't.


Mouthwash is another tool to add to your oral care regimen. It freshens breath, helps keep teeth white, and reduces plaque formation. It also provides the mouth with antimicrobial benefits, soothes dry mouth, and strengthens tooth enamel with its added fluoride.

Disclosing Tablets 

Plaque is invisible to the naked eye, so you can’t see if it is collecting and building up on your teeth. Disclosing tablets provide that option. Chew the tablet and then rinse your mouth with water. Pink-stained spots that remain on your teeth after rinsing indicate plaque areas.

What Type of Toothbrush Is Best? 

Brushing your teeth is foundational to keeping them healthy. There are two kinds of brushes most people use — manual and electric. They both work well at removing plaque – the culprit that causes tooth decay and gum disease. But electrics, thanks to technology, provide some benefits that manual brushes don’t.

Electric Toothbrush 

Electric toothbrush bristles use a combination of vibration and rotation to remove plaque. They also provide some benefits that manual brushes don’t.

They are more effective at removing plaque and, thus, reducing gingivitis cases than a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also easier for people with limited mobility issues, such as carpal tunnel or arthritis, to use. Plus, some electrics have built-in timers. This lets you make sure you brush for the ADA-advised two minutes.

Dental Floss, Picks, and Sticks

The spaces between teeth are havens for food particles and plaque to collect. Neglecting those areas allows plaque to flourish and eventually leads to gum disease. Multiple dental tools can clean between teeth.

illustration of dental floss

Water Flosser 

A water flosser — also referred to as a dental water jet or an oral irrigator — shoots a water stream at your teeth. It removes plaque from teeth and food particles from between teeth.

Using one is ideal for people with braces or dental work that makes it hard to use dental floss. People who have trouble flossing by hand may want to try a water flosser too.

Dental Floss 

Dental floss comes in multiple forms: waxed or unwaxed and flavored or unflavored. Regardless of your choice, make sure the floss has the American Dental Association (ADA) endorsement seal.

Be sure to complement brushing with flossing. Floss is also incredibly portable so take it wherever you go. This will help you floss after having any meal.

Floss Picks 

Floss picks provide several benefits. They eliminate bacteria that form on the gum line and remove food debris from between your teeth. That prevents cavity formation or keeps existing cavities from increasing in size.

They also remove plaque which can irritate the gum line and cause tooth decay. Not only are floss picks portable, but they work well on people who have tight teeth.

Interdental Brushes 

An interdental brush is a small-headed toothbrush designed in varying sizes to match the space between your teeth. They can be cylindrical or shaped like a cone.

These include brushes used to clean the areas around an implant that have a coated wire. The wire prevents scratching the implants.

Teeth Whiteners 

There are multiple products available to help whiten teeth that don’t require a trip to see your dentist.

Mouth rinses can employ hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent to help whiten teeth. These rinses can be used on a daily basis and are quite helpful after consuming stain-inducing foods.

Whitening strips lined with a peroxide gel are applied to the outer surface of teeth. Use the white strips for up to 30 minutes daily and repeat per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tray-based teeth whitening kits can also be purchased over the counter. The trays are shaped like mouthguards, and they use a gel-based whitening solution with peroxide-based bleaching agents to treat teeth. The trays have a lower concentration of peroxide than the in-office procedures performed by a dentist. Use the trays once a day for 30-60 minutes for up to two weeks or as directed by the manufacturer or your dentist.

Tongue Scrapers

There are several ways to clean the tongue, and one of those is using a tongue scraper.

You can purchase a scraper made from plastic or metal. Start by placing the scraper’s edge at the back of your tongue, then gently move the scraper forward. Finally, rinse your mouth and tongue scraper after using it to remove bacteria and leftover food particles.

The tongue is not a smooth surface — it has many tiny crevices. As a result, a scraper is a better option for cleaning the tongue than using a toothbrush. Scrapers remove up to 75% of volatile sulfur compounds found on tongues.

Find a Dentist Near Me

Consult your dentist to discuss any questions about oral care products. Or, check out Smile Generation Find a Dentist Tool to find a dentist near you for all your mouth health needs. You can read patient reviews, peruse staff bios, and schedule an appointment online with a mouse click.

Find a trusted dentist near me


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