Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the developed world and can be easily avoided in most cases with proper oral hygiene. Professional cleanings done twice a year at your dentist’s office are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maintaining your oral health.


While professional cleanings and dental checkups in Brooklyn, NY are essential, oral homecare is the next step to keeping your teeth strong, healthy, and pearly white.

Self-cleaning at home removes much of the plaque and bacteria that lead to teeth and gum diseases. There are plenty of oral hygiene aids that you can incorporate into your daily routine that are easy to come by at the supermarket or pharmacy.


Brooklyn dentists recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Once when you wake up and once before you go to sleep. For even better results, brush your teeth once after every meal.

There are hundreds of toothbrush options to choose from, but generally, electric toothbrushes are more effective. The vibrating or rotary motion that electric toothbrushes use dislodges food particles and plaque from the gums and teeth much easier than manual toothbrushes do.

If you can’t use an electric toothbrush, a manual toothbrush will work just fine. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damage to the gum tissue and pick a toothbrush with a head small enough to reach every area of your mouth.

Replace your toothbrush every three months to avoid worn-out bristles and always make sure that the toothbrush you use is ADA-approved.

Dental Flosses

Dental floss is the most important interdental and subgingival cleaner on the market. It can be made of polyethylene ribbons or nylon filaments and comes in a wide variety of types and flavors. Pick a dental floss that you’ll enjoy using.

Floss twice a day after brushing your teeth to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and below the gums. Flossing too hard can lead to bleeding and gum damage, so floss carefully.

Mouth Rinses

A good mouth rinse is important for suppressing bad breath and reducing cavities and plaque buildup. Use mouth rinse after brushing.

The two types of mouth rinses are cosmetic rinses and therapeutic rinses. Cosmetic rinses are sold over the counter while therapeutic rinses generally need a doctor’s prescription to obtain. Therapeutic rinses are minimally effective against plaque, however, they still have great benefits. Talk to your dentist in Brooklyn, Dr. Shahin, about what mouth rinse would be right for you.


Interdental Cleaners

Similar to floss, interdental cleaners are tools you can use to remove food particles and plaque from the hard-to-reach places between your teeth. Interdental cleaners look like tiny brushes, often with a shape that contours to that of the teeth and gums. They come in various shapes and sizes and will be gentle on the gums.

Rubber Tip Stimulators

A rubber tip stimulator is a great tool for maintaining gum health. It is a small tool that can be used around the gum line to stimulate blood flow to the gums and remove plaque. Dentists recommend rubber tip stimulation at least once a day.

Clean the tip with tap water after use and store it in a cool, dry place. Replace the tip when it starts to appear worn.


Oral Irrigators

With an oral irrigator, you can spray a tiny jet of water into your gum pockets and gum line to remove harmful bacteria and food particles. They have been proven effective at cleaning the gums and lowering the risk of gum disease.

Water Jets and Waterpiks can be found at your local pharmacy or dentist’s office. It is recommended that you use an oral irrigator twice a day. Although oral irrigation is very effective, it should not be used in place of brushing or flossing your teeth.

Tongue Cleaners

Tongue cleaners are small tools shaped to the contours of your tongue. They can be made out of wood, plastic, or metal and are used to gently scrape the bacteria, food debris, and fungi off of the tongue’s surface. Fungi and bacteria on the tongue can build up over time and lead to bad breath and health issues such as respiratory disease, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.


Oral hygiene aids are easy to come by and even easier to incorporate into a daily oral hygiene routine. Our Brooklyn Dentist, Dr. Shahin, and our dental hygienists are happy to answer any questions you may have. For further questions and concerns, contact our dental practice, which serves Brooklyn Heights, Fort Green, Park Slope, Crown Heights patients, and patients in other areas around Brooklyn.