Recent developments in dental technologies have led to the use of various fluoride agents, additives and abrasives in the oral dentifrices. Some of them are designed to provide a single benefit, such as caries protection. Others offer multiple advantages including decay prevention, plaque reduction or hypersensitivity elimination. Ever since the fluoridation of the community water in 1945, different dentifrices have been designed to aid the public with the maintenance of their oral health.
An array of toothpastes is presently available. From delicate and sweet-tasting children’s toothpastes to more abrasive compounds that are designed for tooth whitening, all toothpastes are now manufactured with preventive or cosmetic properties. Many of them are made to target a specific dental issue such as plaque accumulation. The toothpastes now come in the form of gels, dual-chamber dispensers and pumps. Plaque, calculus and tartar control agents are often added to halt the accumulation of bacterial deposits.
Dental Floss and Floss Threaders
The purpose of flossing is to remove any food debris and harboring bacteria. Both waxed and unwaxed floss is available. The waxed floss removes the deposits with a minimal physical effort. The unwaxed floss removes the debris and cleans the interproximal surfaces of the teeth, but it may require manual strength. Therefore, it is not typically recommended for people with limited hand mobility.
Floss threaders were designed to remove food fragments from the part of the dental bridge that meets the gums. It cannot be performed using the regular floss only as it needs to be laced from one side of the bridge to the other.
The ever changing patterns in oral health often lead to more complex conditions. These stabilizing formulas are designed to prevent the halitosis (bad breath) and dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Both pre-brushing and post-brushing formulas can be used.
The use of an interproximal brush is warranted when the regular toothbrush and floss cannot reach certain surfaces of the teeth such as deep gingival pockets in between the teeth. The daily use greatly contributes to the health of the mouth and prevention of various systemic diseases. Small interdental brushes can be used as an alternative to regular floss.
It is well documented that dentifrices have gone through technological evolution and now provide patients with means to prevent and treat numerous oral conditions. As oral care products continue to progress, more cavity-reducing, desensitization and whitening compounds may be introduced in the near future.