The best way to think about health is like a constant battle against the outside world. In this battle one of the main battlefields is our mouth, as this is an organ which we use to contact the outside world, and use it to chew parts of it up. Hence this area in our body is particularly ripe with bacteria, and cleaning it and taking good care of it is one of the most important aspects to staying healthy. This is why a proper at home oral hygiene routine is indispensable. But using just a toothbrush -contrary to popular belief- is not enough to win this fight, some other, less known weapons need to be used. Below is a description of the kind of armoire that can help you to win.
The holy trinity
The three most important things you need to win this battle are a good toothbrush, dental floss and mouthwash. These are the three at home things that are indispensable to the cleaning of your mouth. Please note that aside from at home oral care, you will also need to visit a dentist for check-ups in order to avoid serious problems that need a root canal treatment or an extraction.
Toothbrushes should have soft bristles, as these are enough to remove the plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces, and hard, abrasive bristles will scratch your enamel up, and can even harm your soft tissues in the process. You should change your tooth brush every 3 months or so or as soon as the bristles start to stick out all over the place, or develop brown spots or any other discolouration on them. If you keep using a toothbrush, you are actually doing more harm as you are reintroducing bacteria into your mouth again and again.
Dental floss or an interdental toothbrush
Tooth decay usually starts from the gaps between the teeth, form food particles and bacterial colonies that live in the spaces between teeth. These places are very difficult to clean, and cannot be properly maintained with only a toothbrush. This is why you need to use dental floss or an interdental toothbrush. An interdental toothbrush looks like a scrubby pole with bristles sticking out all over it, and it can be used to clean the same spaces that you would use dental floss to clean.
Mouthwash is a particularly useful tool because it is a liquid and can get everywhere, neutralizing bacterial cultures where the interdental and the regular toothbrush can’t get to. Make sure you use it twice a day, and try and use one that is alcohol free, as alcohol dries up the mucus membranes and can actually harm the mouth in the long run, making it less able to resist bacterial infections.