Dr Angela Recommends...
Here are a few of my favourite dental gadgets to keep your teeth in tip top condition.
If you are going to invest in one thing from this list, I would definitely recommend an electric toothbrush. It is worth spending a little to properly look after your teeth and gums. Of course, using manual brushes can work for many patients, it does require a good technique in order to effectively remove plaque without damaging the gums and enamel. We see so many patients who aggressively brush their teeth with a harmful scrubbing action which often does strip the gums and enamel. Electric toothbrushes with an oscillating rotating action have been proven to remove more plaque than manual brushing alone.
There are so many electric toothbrushes on the market, my personal favourite is the Oral B professional range, as I like the small round head which hugs the contours of teeth and has that all important oscillating rotating action. All the toothbrushes in the professional range have a rechargeable battery, and a two minute timer with quadrant spacer. This guides you to spend 30 seconds on each quadrant to ensure you are cleaning the mouth systematically and not just spending the whole time brushing the front teeth (a common mistake).
It is worth choosing a model with a pressure sensor to prevent you from pressing too hard. A lot of people make the mistake of using an electric toothbrush like they would a manual toothbrush. To get the best out of the toothbrush and to prevent damage to your teeth and gums, angle the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum with gentle pressure, let to let the toothbrush do the work for you.
The new Oral B iO brush has a smart pressure sensor which also lets you know through a visible pressure activated light if you are applying the optimium pressure. The Oral B app helps guide you to brush the mouth thoroughly as well as having motivational habit trackers.
The Waterpik is an oral irrigator which is used to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. It is important to use this as part of your regular oral hygiene routine and not as a substitute (brushing twice daily and interdental cleaning once daily).
It is especially useful for impacted wisdom teeth, crowded teeth that are difficult to clean, and for patients wearing orthodontic braces or retainers.
This unit does require plugging into a 2 pin bathroom socket and requires some countertop space. If you do have the space and socket, I would recommend this unit as it fits more water in the tank which means you do not have to stop to refill. It is also more powerful than the cordless model.
It comes with different attachments that you can use. The perio tip is useful for people with active gum disease to gently irrigate the pockets - please ensure you read the instructions as you must use it on low power when irrigating a gum pocket.
If you do not have countertop space or a bathroom plug, then the cordless version is a good alternative. The advantage of this one is that it is travel size, and it does come with a travel bag for storage. It can be charged using any standard plug socket, using the supplied magnetic charging cable. The tank may need refilling during use, but it can be used in the shower which creates less mess.
The Airfloss is an alternative to the Waterpik. Instead of a continuous steam of water, this produces a short pressured shot of water and air. You have a little more control using this, as you position the nozzle first and then press the button to activate it. The unit is a lot smaller and portable which means the water is smaller - I usually find I need to refill it once or twice. The battery life is very good, but I have seen multiple comments about the unit breaking down. Mine has not broken and I have had it for 4 years. I do not use it every day however as I like to mix it up between the Waterfloss and Airfloss. If you live in a hard water area, mineral deposits can build up within the unit so it is good practice to clean it regularly with vinegar or use distilled / filtered water to fill the tank.
Disclaimer: We receive a small commission from products purchased through these links. This does not impact what products we recommend. All products recommended have either been purchased and used by Dr Angela or are clinical demonstration units supplied by the manufacturer.