Which type of flossing is better - string floss or flossers?

Though any kind of flossing is acceptable, the best flossing method is actually the string floss. With string floss, you want to make sure you get it down into the groove between the teeth and you want it to wrap almost like a C-shape around each tooth. This ensures to remove all debris of food and flax from the gum.

A floss pick is usually just a straight edge, it's only going to go in and out. You're not going to be able to get it to wrap the way we want to be able to clean and help your gums from having the inflammation and the bleeding and also to prevent those cavities that form in between the teeth. It's always better to use string floss if possible.

What is the difference between a manual brush and an electric brush?

Many of my patients still use the manual brush, which we often provide in our goodie bags. However, manual brushes don't perform as well as the electric ones. When you're brushing with a manual brush, it simply doesn't remove all the particles as effectively as an electric brush does.

With manual brushing, people often use a scrubbing motion. This can cause damage to the gum line and lead to gum recession. The electric brush is much more effective at breaking apart plaque. Many electric brushes now come with a pressure indicator that will alert you if you're brushing too hard. The electric brush does all the work for you, including the scrubbing motion. Its vibrating strokes clean around the gum line and remove particle debris.

The manual brush does an adequate job, but it can potentially harm your gums more than you realize. It also doesn't remove as much plaque that can form into tartar. Given the choice, I would definitely recommend the electric brush. The best brands are Sonicare and Oral-B.

Many hygienists, including myself, prefer Sonicare. I especially like the design of the brush bristles and the various modes that Sonicare offers.

The different types of Listerine and their uses

There are several kinds of Listerine mouthwash, and they are each designed for different needs. The main ones I'll discuss today are the Listerine Cool Mint, Ultra Clean, Gum Therapy, and Total Care. Cool Mint comes in both alcohol and zero-alcohol versions. My personal favorite is Listerine Gum Therapy, which I often recommend to my patients.

Listerine Total Care is particularly good if you don't have a lot of gum issues, but often get areas of decay. This version contains sodium fluoride, which helps block the development of cavities. You should use it twice a day by swishing a small amount in your mouth for a minute and then spitting it out.

If you have gum issues, I highly recommend either the Gum Therapy or the Ultra Clean. These versions contain four essential oils that break down plaque biofilm walls and promote gum healing. They also feature zinc chloride, which prevents buildup from crystallizing on the teeth, making them easier to clean.

If you have both cavity and gum issues, you don't necessarily need to use both types of mouthwash. Use the one that addresses your more pressing problem: Total Care for cavities and Gum Therapy for gum issues. For mouthwashes with essential oils, like Gum Therapy, swish a small amount in your mouth for 30 seconds, once or twice a day, preferably twice.

In case you can't find the Gum Therapy, Ultra Clean is a good substitute and vice versa.