- Oral Health
The Power Flosser and Your Dental Health
The Importance of Flossing
We all know that brushing your teeth is important to have good dental health, to avoid cavities, tooth loss, or dingy colored teeth. However, another important component of caring for your teeth and gums is regular flossing.
Flossing helps to remove food particles and harmful bacteria from the area between your teeth and at your gum line where your brush can't go. By doing this, it reduces the risk of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Failure to remove built up food particles and plaque can result in tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and possibly a number of other general health problems thanks to the germs and bacteria present in this residue. When inflammation and gum disease takes hold, bone loss in the mandible (jaw) can begin.
While research hasn't defined how they are linked yet, gum disease also seems to have a relationship to serious medical conditions like heart disease, dementia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
For this reason, flossing should occur at least once a day. If you have signs of inflammation, bleeding gums, and so forth, flossing should occur after every meal ideally.
The Problem with Flossing
Unfortunately many of us don't floss as we should or have some difficulty doing it.
When done properly, 18" of floss should be used so that each tooth comes in contact with clean floss. Each tooth should have the floss moved up and down, and side to side by wrapping the floss slightly around the tooth. This process takes time, but it is also important to be gentle in order to avoid damaging your gums.
For some people, flossing is difficult. The floss breaks, it becomes wedged between teeth, or it's simply too time consuming. For others, they just don't do it properly or as thoroughly as they should.
A Power Flosser Might Solve Some Problems
A power flosser can be the answer to the problem. These devices can make flossing easier.Users no longer have to wrap floss tightly around their fingers and shove it between your teeth abruptly. Gums won't be traumatized. With these devices, the motion is gentle and requires almost no effort. In fact, for many kids, anyone with retrainers or braces, or those with dexterity problems, a power flosser may be the only real solution.
Most of these devices operate on a replaceable battery or electricity from a wall socket. They are simple to operate. They are are inexpensive, but users do have to purchase replacement tips occasionally. (often only after a few years)
After using a power flosser, the mouth generally feels refreshed. Most of these devices have a pressure adjustment so that users can set it where they tolerate it best.
For extra bacteria and plaque fighting power, dentist recommended rinses can be used rather than water in the flosser if necessary.
Tips for Power Flossing
An important part of using a power flosser is to use the right tips. Some are designed specifically for use with braces and retainers and others are especially useful for getting in deep pockets. Users should check with their dentist and the manufacturer to determine which tip is right for them based on their special needs.
For hygienic purposes, tips from flosser should not be shared with others. Just as dental floss wouldn't be shared, neither should flosser tips.
Warm water is recommended in the flosser, this is to avoid discomfort for those with sensitive teeth or gums. A dentist can recommend an oral rinse if necessary.
New users should start with a low pressure setting and work their way up as they become accustomed to the flow.
Complete instructions should come with the power flosser, but users should run the tip at the gum line, in front of and behind the upper and lower teeth being sure to stop briefly between teeth at the gum line.