You may or may not know that today is World Oral Health Day.
Err, why do we have a World Oral Health Day? Because 90% of the world’s population will suffer from oral diseases in their lifetime and many of them can be avoided with increased governmental, health association and society support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programmes. So, basically, like most other ‘World’ days, it’s to create awareness.
I am a bit of an oral hygiene nut and am always looking for new products. A few months ago Sunstar GUM sent me a box of their new products to test.
Although bad breath affects around 90% of people at some point, most don’t realise that they have a problem. And you can’t rely on your bestie to break the bad news – two-thirds of people said they wouldn’t tell a friend that their breath smelt and a third wouldn’t even tell their spouse!
Experts say that the most common cause of bad breath is inadequate oral care. “If plaque and food debris are not physically removed – by correctly brushing, flossing and rinsing – they break down in the mouth, releasing bad odours, as well as causing irritation and disease,” says Dirna Grobbelaar, IVOhealth’s oral hygiene advisor.
Whilst most people brush their teeth regularly, flossing is often overlooked; 35% of people admitted they “never” floss. “The mouth is not clean until it’s clean in-between,” says Grobbelaar. “If you are in doubt, take the test – pull a length of floss between the teeth and smell it!”
Grobbelaar suggests that if you find flossing awkward or too time-consuming, find an interdental tool that suits your mouth and lifestyle. “There are many options these days, from tiny interdental brushes and floss handles to high-tech toothpicks with built-in fluoride. Look for Sunstar GUM products in pharmacies and dental practices; they have the widest range of interdental tools in South Africa.”
“Brushing correctly twice a day, cleaning the tongue and interdental cleaning is the key to the fresh breath confidence that comes from a super-clean mouth,” says Grobbelaar.
These are the six flossing products that I like the most.
The Interdental bushes are great for gaps at the back of the mouth as the brush can bend to 90 degrees.
The Interdental Trav-Ler Brushes do the same thing, but come with handy covers so you can toss them in a cosmetics bag for a weekend away.
The Expanding Floss is not a new concept, but this one is really good. It expands in between the teeth to get the best clean possible.
The Soft Picks are fabulous for pesky seeds or bits of popcorn, you can remove the offending debris without damaging your gums. They come with a small, flat carrying case for your handbag.
The Easy-Flossers are little lengths of pre-tensioned floss on a clever handle – perfect for on the go. They also come with a carry case.
My favourite product is the ridiculously named Flosbrush Automatic. It basically takes all the hassle out of flossing. It’s a brush with pre-tensioned floss that rotates and renews the floss for you. All you need to do is wind the floss using the roller toggle on the handle. It comes with a protective cap for the head of the brush. Each Flosbrush contains enough floss for 250 uses. Clever, no?