An All-Out Assault on Dental Decay

Kids flossing

Toothbrushes? Check. Mouthwash? Roger that. Dental floss? For days. Think you’ve got all the dental hygiene products you’ll ever need?

Think again!

These tried-and-true basics are a great start, don’t get me wrong. But if you’re stopping there, you’re missing out on an entire dimension of oral care, normally only reserved for people in a dentist’s chair. Here’s just a sampling.

Tongue Cleaning. Ever wonder where the majority of your horrible, dragon-esque morning breath comes from? Look no further than your tongue, my tulip-wilting friend. During the day, talking and chewing keeps your tongue plenty busy, and bacteria don’t have time to accumulate. But at night, it’s a different story. All that dormancy makes for one nasty cocktail of bacterial byproducts when you wake up. But a few swipes from a tongue scraper can make it all go away.

Picks and Scalers. Lots of oral care products talk about giving you that “fresh from the dentist” feeling. But what better way to get that feeling than to use the actual tools your dentist uses? Many people don’t know that the same devices professionals use in dental settings are available to the public at large. Picks (the metal pointy things) and scalers (the wider scrape-y things) can be had from any number of online outlets, and can help you reach those spots that brushing and flossing just can’t touch.

Nighttime Mouth Guards. Not all oral care is about cleanliness — sometimes it’s about having a great defense. Nighttime mouth guards can help protect the enamel of people who suffer from bruxism (a super fancy way of saying “teeth grinding”). Without any protection, bruxers can literally grind down their teeth, sometimes creating weak spots and holes big enough for bacteria to cry havoc and let slips the dogs of decay.

Your teeth are too important to just do the bare minimum of care. Pull out all the stops, go after decay where it lives, and you can kiss those future cavities goodbye! Good references here.

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