Oct 14, 2018

According to recent statistics, the average American spends over $250 annually on oral care products. With so many options available now, it’s much harder for consumers to decide which ones are best for them. This calls for the help of a trained professional like your general dentist in Sarasota. As you read on, you’ll learn which oral hygiene products are more gimmick than necessity.

The essentials

The following items are must-haves for maintaining your oral health:

  • Toothpaste – When shopping for toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, which ensures a product contains the ingredients necessary to properly clean your teeth.
  • Toothbrush – While cleaning your teeth is a priority, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of your oral health. Therefore, be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush with. This will help to prevent enamel damage and the irritation of your gums.
  • Floss – You can expect to remove up to 60% of the debris on your teeth with your toothbrush, but to get into the tight spaces where the remaining food particles are hidden, dental floss is the most effective solution.
  • Mouthwash – It may be difficult at times to brush and floss your teeth after each meal, so it’s helpful to keep a bottle of mouthwash on hand. A post-meal rinse helps to bathe the mouth and teeth to remove lingering debris.

Is an electric toothbrush necessary?

The electric toothbrush offers several perks, including high-speed bristle rotation that cuts down on the time needed to thoroughly brush your teeth. The question still remains, though: “Is it necessary to purchase an electric toothbrush?”

Your dentist says, “No!” A manual toothbrush does an excellent job of cleaning your teeth as long as the proper techniques are used.

Do I need a tongue scraper?

One of the more recent dental products to emerge is a tongue scraper, and as its name suggests, it removes debris and bacteria by scraping the tongue. It is placed at the back of the mouth and moved forward to dislodge any food or bacteria trapped between the papillae (the small bumps on the tongue).

The reality, though, is you can accomplish the same end by using your toothbrush to gently clean your tongue after brushing your teeth. Thus, you can save time and money.


It’s common to see people probing their teeth with a toothpick after finishing a meal. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous habit to maintain because it presents the threat of puncturing or irritating your gums. As mentioned earlier, the healthy alternative is to clean your teeth with dental floss.

By taking the information provided by your dentist in Sarasota into consideration, you can be sure to make sound decisions on what oral hygiene products to purchase. Thus, you can have the right tools in place to get the job done.

About the Author

Dr. Shanaka Weerasooriya (known as Dr. Shanaka) is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry. With nearly 20 years of experience providing care, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with patients about how they can improve their oral health by using the right dental hygiene tools. To receive a thorough cleaning to boost your oral hygiene routine, you can find Dr. Shanaka at Tarpon Shores Dental. He can be reached for more information through his website.