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Guide to Oral Hygiene
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The Dental Professional’s Guide to Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth is both simple and affordable, yet many of us neglect this very important part of our lives.

In this guide, we surveyed 145 dentists and dental professionals across North America on how they take care of their oral hygiene, and some of the results really surprised us.

Please note this is a self-assessed survey, published September 2018; any conclusions should be treated as such.

Consistency is the Key

While all the dentists had different opinions on the technique you should use while you brush, flush or rinse; they universally agreed that the most important part of maintaining perfect oral hygiene is to perform your routine everyday. Skipping a day (or two) of brushing allows food and plaque to build up, harden and ultimately become more difficult to remove, thus requiring a trip to the dentist.

For most of us, those lazy weekends where we might forget to brush are the killers.

Invest in an Electric Toothbrush

The jury is out and 100% of the dentists in our survey agreed that an electric toothbrush is a critical tool they all use at home. What surprised us about this result was that on average, the dentists spent $30 on their electric toothbrushes, which is would be considered the cheap models.

How Much to Spend on Electric Toothbrush

We can draw two conclusions from their responses: buy an electric toothbrush, but nothing fancy.

Mixed Reviews on Flossing

While we had 1 dentist out of 45 admit they never flossed, we had a very mixed response on the frequency at which these dentists would floss. Only 45% responded that they would floss daily, followed by 35% who said 3 times per week, and another 20% who said they flossed once per week.

Since the majority of dentists would floss daily, we are going to follow the herd and recommend a daily floss.

Mouthwash is Popular

The majority of our respondents said they used mouthwash at least once per day and as part of their brushing routine. After brushing and flossing, you may experience mild bleeding, and mouthwash is a good way to clean out any cuts that may result from your cleaning routine.

Unfortunately, our survey did not include any questions about preference between alcohol and alcohol-free mouthwashes. We recommend you read our reviews of the best mouthwash.

Tooth Whitening Products

Surprisingly to us, the majority of dental professionals recommend using a whitening toothpaste to maintain those pearly whites. With the options of using whitening strips, professional whitening and whitening toothpaste, a whopping 85% of professionals selected whitening toothpaste as the most effective whitening product.

That’s good news for all us, it’s the cheapest and easiest option!

Regular Visits to the Dentist

Of course their responses will be biased, but it’s simple common sense to visit the dentist every now and then. We all know those people who are almost proud of the fact they never go to the dentist.

45% of our respondents said you should visit the dentist once every 3 months with another 45% saying you should visit twice per year. Only 10% said you should visit the dentist only once per year.

In Conclusion: Keep it Simple

We probably didn’t need a survey from dental professionals to brush up (pun intended) on our oral hygiene skills. In summary, you should:

  • Brush and Floss daily, don’t ever skip!
  • Use mouthwash after you brush and floss
  • Use a whitening toothpaste
  • Visit your dentist at least twice per year


Helen Greene

Helen Greene

Helen is a proud mother and wife, a professional blogger, mystery shopper and is passionate about developmental psychology, that is, the development of children.

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