Caring - City Of Windsor

Caring - City Of Windsor
for yourmouth
Good oral health is important to your overall
health. In fact, gum disease has been linked to
many health conditions like heart disease and
stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes mellitus,
and low birth weight in babies (Health Canada, 2009).
Regular use of oral care products according to established guidelines is the key to good oral health. Toothbrushes,
toothpaste, and dental floss help keep your teeth clean and prevent conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease. A wide
variety of oral care products are available to choose from. Consult your dentist or dental hygienist if you’re having trouble
choosing the right product. Consider the following guidelines when choosing your oral care products.
Proper brushing helps remove food and plaque from teeth,
and stimulates the gums to keep them healthy. Look for
following features when choosing a toothbrush:
e sure to select a toothbrush with a head size that can
be easily moved around in the mouth. For example,
choose a very small head for a very young child.
hoose a toothbrush that has soft bristles so you won’t
hurt your gums. It also should have a long, wide handle
for a firm grasp.
There are many types of toothpastes for different dental
needs. The purpose of toothpaste is to work with the
toothbrush in the removal of food, stains, and plaque.
Toothpastes are available for sensitive teeth, to control
tartar formation, and to whiten teeth. It’s important to
look for the Canadian Dental Association seal on the
toothpaste tube. No matter what toothpaste you use,
Health Canada (2010) recommends:
rush twice daily and replace your toothbrush every
three to four months or earlier if the bristles begin to
look worn.
• A
dults: Use only a pea sized amount of
fluoridated toothpaste.
• C
hildren three to six years of age: Use only a
rice sized amount of fluoridated tooth paste and
should be supervised while brushing.
• C
hildren under three years of age: Use a
toothbrush moistened only with water. Teeth
should be brushed by an adult.
In addition to being fun to
use, power toothbrushes make
it easier to brush correctly.
They’re also easier to use for
people with medical conditions
like arthritis and work well for
people with braces and other orthodontic
appliances. Manual toothbrushes are as effective
as power toothbrushes. Correct brushing
technique is more important than the type of
toothbrush (Penick, 2003).
Oral care products (from toothbrushes to mouthwashes)
that carry the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal
of Recognition have been reviewed by the CDA and have
shown specific oral health benefits. For a list of oral health
products that have been reviewed and recognized by the
CDA, visit
Dental floss helps to clean between
teeth where the toothbrush cannot
reach. This allows the saliva to flow
to help keep teeth clean with a
natural washing action. It also helps
to massage the gums which keeps
them strong and healthy.
There is a wide choice available for
these products, including waxed and
unwaxed, flavoured and scented,
shred resistant, and whitening floss.
Also, a variety of specialty items
such as dental tape, floss threaders,
and floss holders are available. You
should choose the product that
is best suited for your needs. You
can discuss these products with
your dentist or hygienist who will
help you to include them into your
regular oral care routine.
The best way to get rid of plaque is
through brushing and flossing your
teeth regularly, but mouth rinses
can be helpful as an extra method of
cleaning. There are many different
mouth rinses available: simple
mouthwashes that fight bad breath,
fluoride mouthwashes that coat
the teeth in fluoride, and antiseptic
mouthwashes that fight conditions
such as plaque and gingivitis.
Mouth rinses, especially
the ones that contain
fluoride or alcohol, are not
recommended for children
under six years of age.
Although teeth are not naturally
meant to be completely white,
many of us want a brighter smile.
A wide variety of teeth whitening
products are available today. Before
buying any tooth whitener, you
should consult your dentist who
will take into account your oral
health conditions and recommend
the right one for you. The two most
common whiteners are:
Surface Whiteners:
These products use special abrasives to help remove surface stains. Toothpastes and
chewing gums are the most common ones. They are usually effective on surface stains. It
should not be used as an alternate for professional cleaning. Also, any abrasive whitener will
remove tooth enamel over time.
Most of these products are peroxide-based and change the colour of the tooth itself.
However, not all tooth discolourations respond to tooth-bleaching treatments. Depending
on how many teeth are stained and how much they are stained, your dentist may suggest:
• Putting a bleach agent on your stained teeth and using heat (or heat and light)
to start the bleaching action. This is done at the dental office.
• Wearing a custom-made mouth guard filled with a bleaching solution for part of
each day. This is done at home but your dentist will give you a kit with all the
• Brushing with toothpaste which contains a bleaching agent.
Home tooth whitening kits are also available. These are similar
to those used in the dentist’s office, but the concentrations of the
active ingredients are lower. Health Canada recommends that it’s
important to follow the instructions on the product and not use
the product for more than 14 days without consulting a dentist.
There are many oral care products
but remember to pick the product
that is right for you and your family.
It’s important to know what you want and what
product can help you get the best possible result.
Penick, C. (2003). Powered toothbrushes: a critical review. International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 2, 40-44.
Health Canada. (2009). It’s your Health: The Effects of Oral Health on Overall Health. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from
Health Canada. (2010). It’s your Health: Fluoride and Human Health. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
Ontario Dental Association. (2010). Personal oral care. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
Canadian Dental Association. Teeth whitening. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
Health Canada. (2009). It’s your Health: The Safe Use of Home Tooth Whitening Kits. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from
The key to having great teeth and preventing any
dental problems is to brush your teeth twice a day,
floss at least once every 24 hours, and have a routine
annual dental check up.
© Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, January 2015.
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