Which toothpaste should I use

Healthy in the mouth: which dental care is the right one?

How often and for how long should you brush your teeth?

A biofilm consisting of bacteria, the so-called plaque, continuously forms on the teeth through saliva and food residues. The bacteria produce acids that attack the tooth surface. The most effective way to remove these deposits is through mechanical cleaning, i.e. by brushing the teeth and the spaces between the teeth.

The recommendation of the German Dental Association for correct oral hygiene is: Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two to three minutes with a fluoride-containing toothpaste and clean the spaces between the teeth once a day.

What are the real benefits of dental floss and interdental brushes?

The benefits of floss are currently being discussed. The criticism, however, relates primarily to the study situation, which does not sufficiently confirm the actual effectiveness of dental floss. The German Dental Association emphasizes that it cannot be inferred from this, however, that less thorough dental care is also sufficient. Rather, dental floss remains a key tool for cleaning the interdental spaces and removing bacterial deposits from the tooth surface.

Because brushing with a toothbrush only cleans around 70 percent of the tooth surface. What the bristles do not achieve sufficiently are the often narrow spaces between the teeth, which are therefore particularly prone to tooth decay and periodontitis.

This is why they should be thoroughly cleaned of food residues and bacterial biofilm once a day. The use of dental floss is recommended for narrow interdental spaces; interdental brushes are well suited for larger ones. In both cases, you should have your dentist show you how to use the tools effectively without harming the gums.

Do mouthwashes attack your teeth?

A mouthwash solution can be used to support dental care - but it will not replace mechanical cleaning, i.e. brushing the teeth and the spaces between the teeth.

Important: When it comes to mouth rinsing, a distinction must be made between medically effective mouth rinses and mouthwashes that are only intended to develop a feeling of freshness. Medicinal mouthwashes contain the antiseptic chlorhexidine in concentrations between 0.1 and 0.2 percent. And that can cause discoloration and taste irritation. Allergies to chlorhexidine are also known. Long-term use at this dosage can also disturb the balance of the bacterial flora in the oral cavity, which is why mouth rinsing solutions with this active ingredient should only be used temporarily and only under the instructions of the dentist.

Are fluoride tablets and toothpastes containing fluoride useful?

A supplementary supply of fluoride makes sense as early as infancy when the first milk tooth erupts. Since fluoride mainly works locally on the tooth surface, fluoride tablets are actually the best solution. Sucking is usually difficult for small children, which is why fluoride-containing children's toothpastes and the use of fluoride-containing table salt in the kitchen make more sense at this age.

From the age of six, the German Dental Association recommends toothpastes containing fluoride (then children can use toothpastes for adults). Studies show that their use has significantly reduced tooth decay.

Tip from the German Dental Association: spit out the toothpaste foam after brushing your teeth, but do not rinse out your mouth completely so that the fluoride it contains can continue to work on the tooth surface.

Do whitening toothpaste and chewing gum harm your teeth?

The lightening is achieved on the one hand by the abrasives it contains and on the other by bleaching substances such as hydrogen peroxide preparations. However, these are found in toothpastes and chewing gum in such low concentrations that they have no detectable effect. The abrasive tools can attack the tooth enamel due to the friction, which is why such preparations should not be used on a daily basis.

Should the tongue also be cleaned?

Bacteria collect and multiply easily on the surface of the tongue. So it makes perfect sense to also take the tongue into account during your tooth brushing routine. Whether with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper - it doesn't matter. Cleansing the tongue helps reduce the number of bacteria in the entire oral cavity.