Frequently Asked Questions

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GENERAL ORAL HEALTH AND BEST PRACTICES

Cleaning between your teeth every day with dental floss or another interdental cleaner is important to help remove plaque and food debris that can lead to cavities. However, flossing is not just important for your teeth, it is essential to maintain healthy gums, as well. According to the ADA, “Dental floss and other interdental cleaners help clean these hard-to-reach tooth surfaces and reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.” Gum (periodontal) disease can become a serious problem if not treated early, and lead to receding gums and even tooth loss.  

Close-up of woman flossing

While there is no one simple solution, there are many different approaches you can take with your children. One is to brush your teeth with them at the same time. Another is to let your child choose or help choose both their toothpaste and toothbrush, so they can brush with products that are more fun and enjoyable. Cartoon characters, animals, and flavors can help incentivize children to brush. Consider playing a two-minute song that your child loves and brush to it. Consider finding a way to turn brushing into a game, or build a reward system that works for you and your child. 

Parents helping children brush

Both brushing and cleaning between your teeth are always important after meals, although we understand this is not always convenient or easy. Whenever possible, maintain a brushing routine and strongly consider using a small, foldable travel toothbrush that is discrete and easy to transport. If flossing is not something you can or want to do when you are away from home, consider using a flosser, dental pick, or interdental brush, which can be used easily outside of the bathroom. 

Young adults socializing and laughing

There are a variety of things that can cause bad breath, which is sometimes called halitosis. Most, but not all, causes of bad breath reside in your mouth. Food is a common cause of bad breath, either from the breakdown of food in your mouth or from particular foods themselves, such as onions or garlic. Poor dental hygiene can also be a cause of bad breath with leftover food particles or bacteria producing odors. Other causes of bad breath include, but are not limited to, smoking, dry mouth, infections, medications, or certain diseases. 

If you’re having difficulty keeping your breath fresh, consult your dentist. If it is caused by an underlying health condition, you may need to be referred to your primary care doctor. Typically, however, good oral hygiene can prevent halitosis. Removing food and debris by brushing and cleaning between your teeth just after eating is always important. You may also want to consider using a mouthwash, particularly one that kills bacteria. Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper can also help by reducing odor-causing bacteria that can build up on your tongue or cheeks. If needed, you may need to consider changes to your diet. 

Woman holding dog with bad breath

Firstly, stains can be on the exterior of your teeth or even underneath the surface of your teeth. The causes of stains are many, but can often be attributed to certain types of food and drink, such as red wine, sodas and coffee, smoking or chewing tobacco, poor oral care hygiene, or certain diseases. 

Cartoon graphics of causes of teeth staining

There are some easy steps you can take to help make your teeth whiter by removing surface stains. Start by switching to a whitening toothbrush and toothpaste. There are also whitening mouthwashes that help to remove stains. For stains between teeth, flossing or using another type of interdental cleaning, such as dental picks, flossers, or interdental brushes, can help clean away stains. For stains below the surface of your teeth, consider using tooth whitening strips, or consulting with your dentist to weigh all of your options. 

Smiling woman pointing showing off white teeth

INTERDENTAL CLEANING

BrightWorks offers a wide range of products for cleaning between your teeth, including dental floss, flossers, dental picks, and interdental brushes. All of these products effectively remove food and plaque from between your teeth. For people who have dexterity challenges using string floss, other products, such as flossers, dental picks, and interdental brushes, may be easier to use. Certain products may also be easier to use away from home if that is important to you. It’s most important that you clean between your teeth every day. If you have questions about what product might be best for you, ask your dental professional. 

BrightWorks dental picks have special rubber-coated bristles, which are designed to be extra-gentle in use. Because of the soft rubber, many people find them more comfortable to use than wood or plastic dental picks or other types of products that also clean between teeth.  

BrightWorks Dental Picks with carrying case

Cleaning between your teeth is important because it helps remove plaque, which contains bacteria that feeds on food debris and sugar in your mouth. There are many places in your mouth that a toothbrush simply cannot reach. By cleaning between your teeth, you can help prevent cavities and gum disease. 

Woman flossing in mirror

The American Dental Association recommends that you clean between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner, such as dental floss. This helps ensure that you get food debris out of hard-to-reach places after meals. 

Father and daughter flossing together

BrightWorks offers two basic types of floss. BrightWorks Soft Slide Floss is made from soft, highly slippery material which is best for those with sensitive gums or tight spaces between their teeth. The Brightworks Mint and Charcoal Floss is made from a twisted nylon that is great for deep cleaning and is designed to help remove stains between teeth.

BrightWorks Dental Floss products

For children under the age of 10, adult supervision is required. Flossers are not intended for use by children under the age of 4. For children 4+ years old, use of a kids’ flosser can help to build healthy oral care habits for life.

Young girl smiling and flossing

BrightWorks offers several different flossers to meet specific needs. Our kids’ flossers are designed to be fun and easy to use, and have great-tasting flavors to help to build healthy oral care habits. For people with very tight teeth or sensitive gums, BrightWorks Soft Slide Flossers have a special floss that slides more easily between tight teeth and can be more comfortable to use. For people with more typical spaces between teeth, BrightWorks Fresh Mint + Whitening or BrightWorks Charcoal Flossers are great options. Both have great mint flavor and micro-crystals, while the Charcoal Flossers have a double string for twice the cleaning action.

BrightWorks Flossers and packages

Only BrightWorks Kids’ Flossers contain fluoride.

Cut away 18 inches of dental floss and wrap around your fingers. Gently slide the dental floss in between teeth. Use a gentle up and down, and back-and-forth movement along each tooth to floss. The back-and-forth motion helps clean away food debris and plaque between your teeth and gums. 

Two photos of how to hold dental floss

Hold the flosser between your fingers. Then gently slide the flosser between your teeth. Rub the floss gently up and down along each tooth. Rinse the floss as needed. Dispose after use.

Close-up of BrightWorks Flosser being used

Although BrightWorks Flossers are made with extremely durable materials and are designed to complete a whole-mouth cleaning, they should only be used once. Use a new flosser each time you floss.

BRUSHING TEETH

With all the toothbrush options in the market, choosing a toothbrush can be very confusing. Many toothbrushes are designed to address a specific, individual need: 

  • For a good overall clean, choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a simple bristle configuration. 
  • For those who are looking for extra help keeping their teeth white, choose a brush with textured bristles like spiral or charcoal, such as the BrightWorks Whitening or Charcoal Brushes. 
  • Anyone concerned about gum health should choose a brush with extra-tapered bristles to help clean under the gum line. 

Line-up of various toothbrushes

 

The decision to use a manual or electric toothbrush may be based on personal preference or, sometimes, a specific recommendation from a dental professional. Dentist Richard Price of the American Dental Association notes that, “All things being equal, an electric brush or a hand br ush will do the same good job. You see, it’s not the brush, it’s the brusher.” So, no matter what you choose to use, ensure that you brush twice per day for two minutes each time with a proper brushing technique.  

Manual brush and electric brush

According to the American Dental Association, the correct way to brush your teeth is to use your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Once you’ve placed your toothbrush at this angle to your gums, gently brush back and forth in short strokes. You should be careful to brush all the different surfaces of your teeth, including outer, inner, and chewing surfaces. For the surfaces on the back of your front teeth, tilt the toothbrush vertically and use an up-and-down motion.

Woman brushing teeth with BrightWorks Premium Toothbrush

Tapered or extremely tapered bristles are thinner at the top of the bristle than they are at the base where they attach to the brush head. This type of bristles can be more effective at reaching into hard-to-reach places, such as between teeth or under the gum line. 

The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. You should also replace your toothbrush if you see that the bristles are fraying earlier than 3 to 4 months of use. BrightWorks Whitening Toothbrushes feature colored reminder bristles that tell you when your brush needs to be changed.

Shopping cart with toothbrushes in it

According to the Center for Disease Control website, there are several key components to good oral health for adults. These include but are not limited to drinking fluoridated water, brushing teeth twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day to remove dental plaque, and seeing your dentist once per year or more.

 

Toothpaste with BrightWorks Toothbrushes and Dental Floss

 

Flossing is a critical piece of a health oral care routine as it helps to remove plaque buildup before it hardens into tartar. However if you do not floss regularly, your gumline can become irritated and inflamed. When bacteria, tartar, and plaque collect along your gumline, your gums may start looking unhealthy and you may see blood when flossing. There are a variety of different reasons why this could happen, including Periodontal disease, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions, or flossing incorrectly. 

Cartoon graphic of teeth with bleeding gums

It is generally recommended that people brush their teeth twice per day, two minutes each time. 

The best way for children to prevent tooth decay is to build healthy habits early. Children should brush their teeth twice per day and drink tap water containing fluoride, according to the Center for Disease Control. You may also ask your dentist if it is appropriate to apply a fluoride sealant. 

Two photos of young kids brushing their teeth

Getting kids to practice good oral health is rarely easy and often a particularly difficult challenge at bedtime. It is important to help them understand at an early age how important good oral care is to overall health and wellness. Firstly, start dental care early, even before your child’s first tooth has come in. Begin by simply wiping their gums gently to help familiarize your child with the cleaning. Later, as teeth begin to appear, start gently brushing their teeth with a little toothbrush. It can also help to have kids watch you brush so they can see a healthy example to copy. You will also want to explain why dental care is important and how it should be a part of their daily routine. Adding fun to an oral care routine can help, also. Choose or have your child choose toothbrushes that are fun to use, have characters, music, or interesting colors. A fun toothpaste flavor can also assist turning brushing into a more pleasurable experience. On top of brushing and flossing, teaching your kids about healthy foods and drinks and how they help maintain good dental health is also important.

Excited young girl smiling

Once a child has two teeth that touch each other, it is time to introduce flossing as part of a healthy, regular routine. You should floss your child’s teeth once per day which will take approximately 2 minutes. Cut off 18 inches of floss and hold it securely by either wrapping it around your middle fingers or holding it tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Move the floss up and down around every tooth surface, making sure to get below the gumline, as well. For best results, the floss should be shaped into a C so that it can better reach all surface areas. Throw the floss away when done. 

Parent helping young boy with flossing

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