Oral hygiene aids are the tools used in the mouth to remove food residue and plaque, a bacterial film that causes tooth decay (dental caries), periodontal disease, and halitosis (bad breath). Within the general categories of toothbrush, interdental aids and mouthwash, the choices can be over-whelming. Because of the vast number of products available, it is important for the dentist and the dental hygienist to advise patients about what type of products to purchase, based on individual needs. Along with that advice, the patient must be reminded to brush and clean inter dental areas properly. Both child and adult patients should use toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride, the mineral used to fight tooth decay. Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth's outer surface, and it can stop small areas of decay from spreading. Proper use of oral hygiene aids will remove plaque, the film of bacteria that forms on teeth. The bacteria creates toxins that irritate the gums and demineralize tooth structure. If left untreated, plaque can initiate damage to the gums and bones supporting the teeth.