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Oral Care Products That Should Be In Every Bathroom

Take a look inside your bathroom cabinets and make a list of everything you have that helps you take care of your smile. Is everything up to date? When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush?

This list of everything you need for good oral care includes some of the obvious stables — toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash. It also includes recommendations for tooth emergencies, which is especially important for families with active children. Do you have a dental first-aid kit?

Tooth First-Aid Kit

If someone cracks or breaks a tooth, if you have athletes at home, or if you have ever broken or had a tooth knocked out, you’ll appreciate this suggestion. The only ADA-approved product of its kind, Save-A-Tooth is a 1-ounce-volume plastic container with a preserving system that saves knocked-out teeth until you can get to the dentist. Other things you should have on hand for oral first-aid care:

  • Sterile gauze
  • Cotton swabs and cotton balls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Orajel, Anbesol or any oral topical pain medication
  • Dental mirror
  • Dental wax
  • Tweezers

Dental wax is especially handy if someone breaks a tooth or loses a filling or crown. You can soften the wax between clean fingers and press it onto the fractured tooth, protecting it until the dentist’s visit. The wax is also great for anyone who has braces or orthodontics. 

Toothbrushes

Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, you should always have a backup on hand. Change your toothbrush every three to four months. If you or someone in your household has been sick — flu, COVID, or some other communicable illness — it’s time to replace everyone’s toothbrushes right away.

Manual vs powered toothbrushes

Most dental experts say you should brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. Every 30 seconds, move from one quadrant of your mouth to another. Is it better to brush with a manual toothbrush or an electric one?

Consumer Reports reviewed a number of tests that compared the two types of brushes, and they found that electric toothbrushes often came out ahead with regard to removing plaque and reducing gum disease. The down side of electric toothbrushes is that they can overbrush your teeth, wearing down the enamel and gums. This, however, can happen with vigorous manual brushing as well.

Toothpaste

Also in the obvious category: toothpaste! The ADA recommends that children and adults brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Toothpaste does have a shelf life — typically 2 years from the manufacture date.

Mouthwash

Get a good vegan, alcohol-free fluoride mouth rinse that you can use between brushing, especially after eating a meal that is likely to stain your teeth. This will immediately whiten your teeth, and it will have your breath smelling fresh. Even better is if you can find the trifecta of mouthwashes: one that freshens breath, protects against tooth decay, and whitens — all in one swish.

Dental Floss or Picks

Waxed or unwaxed is a matter of personal choice when it comes to dental floss and picks. Floss and picks are so small, they’re easy to tuck into wallets, pockets and purses so you can use them after any meal. Some people prefer picks because they’re easier to use.

Toothbrush Storage

Remember when it used to be cool and even fashionable to display your toothbrushes in a beautiful ceramic holder on the bathroom counter? Not so much anymore, now that scientists have educated consumers about “toilet plumes” that emerge when we flush. Can germs jump from one brush to another? Yes, it’s possible.

The best way to store your toothbrush is away from the toilet, preferably in a cabinet, but don’t cover your brushes. They need to dry completely. Don’t let your household members’ toothbrushes touch each other. Some families keep their toothbrushes in their bedrooms, rather than in a communal bathroom holder. Others give each family member their own shelf or drawer. Never share toothbrushes, and don’t soak them in disinfecting solutions.

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