While brushing your teeth twice a day is a great start to good oral health, there are hard-to-reach areas in the mouth that you may not get to by simply brushing. Interdental cleaning, which helps remove food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth, is an essential part of your dental health. Did you know that traditional string flossing is not the only way you can clean between your teeth? Learn more about water flossing and why it might be an option for you.
Should You Consider A Water Flosser?
How Water Flossers Work
A water flosser is a handheld device that helps remove food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth. The first thing you have to do is fill the device with water before using it. Then place it in your mouth, just above the gum line, and turn it on. The flosser will emit a steady stream of water that will gently clean between those hard-to-reach places.
Reasons to Consider Water Flossing
If you have sensitive gums, you may experience discomfort and bleeding while flossing. Incorrect or harsh use of dental floss can cause these symptoms. However, bleeding and gum discomfort are also symptoms of periodontal disease - a gum infection caused by plaque and tartar build-up. According to a research conducted by Ethan Ng and Lum Peng Lim from the Faculty of Dentistry in the National University of Singapore, a water flosser's pulsation motion can reduce gum inflammation and bleeding while cleaning this area gently. If you have not been flossing regularly, you may find that you have some sensitivity when you begin using a water flosser, but this will resolve itself with regular use. You can also relieve sensitivity issues by adjusting the water temperature so it's not too cold or too hot. If you are still having issues, you are likely to be dealing with a larger issue that you will need to address with your dentist.
For some people, traditional flossing can be difficult. People with arthritis, Parkinson's disease, carpal tunnel syndrome or other conditions that affect the hands may find it hard to use string floss around the teeth. Fortunately, water flossers are a mechanical interdental cleaning option that is easy to use.
Lastly, water flossing is an excellent option if you have restorative or orthodontic treatment such as braces, non-removable bridges, dental implants or crowns.
How Effective is Water Flossing?
Water flossers work through hydrokinetics, the movement of water. This motion effectively removes loose plaque and bacteria while gently cleaning the gum line. Although this interdental cleaning method can help reduce bleeding in the gums, it may not remove dental plaque as effectively as traditional flossing.
A good oral hygiene routine includes brushing twice a day and interdental cleaning. If you have difficulty using traditional string floss, water flossing may be an option for you! With your dentist's help, you can determine the best way to clean between your teeth and achieve a healthy smile.