Flossing and water flossers- What you need to know
The importance of brushing twicw daily has been reinforced time and again but the oft ignored but important aspect of maintaining oral hygiene is flossing around your teeth. Here we will discuss the common queries and help you choose the floss that is best for your oral health.
What is flossing?
Flossing is cleaning around the neck of your teeth below the gum line. Floss may either be in the form of a string which you need to gently insert between your teeth and move in back and forth direction while maintain contact with the surface of the tooth, or it may be a water flosser or water pik which is the mechanized version where the flossing action is provided by a high speed water jet. These are also called as oral irrigation devices or oral irrigators.
Do you need to floss even if you brush your teeth twice daily?
Brushing and using mouthwashes are not very efficient in removing the thin film of plaque that deposits not only on the surface of your teeth but also below your gum line since it is not easily accessible to a toothbrush. Furthermore, mouthwashes can never remove plaque but only prevent its deposition on the teeth. This plaque is excessively detrimental to your oral health since it harbors bacterial colonies. These bacteria cause inflammation and irritation of the gums which in turn can lead to bleeding from the gums due to increase in their blood supply in response to the activation of your immune system. At this stage the gum disease, also called gingivitis, is reversible i.e. once the plaque is removed, the inflammation subsides and the gums are restored to their normal health. However, if the gum disease is ignored, the plaque mineralizes to form a hardened ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’ which cause bone resorption around the teeth and thus the bone support is lost. This progressive gum disease, also called as periodontitis, is irreversible in nature and will eventually lead to tooth loss. Therefore, it is highly imperative that you prevent accumulation of plaque in the first place.
The toothbrush will effectively remove the plaque accumulated on the surface of the tooth but the plaque that deposits below the gum line can only be removed by flossing and this is precisely the reason that you should floss in spite of brushing twice daily.
How to use floss?
ADA recommends flossing at least once a day for optimum results. For this, pluck off at least 18 inches of regular floss and fold it onto your thumb and index finger of opposing hands. Gently tease the floss in between your teeth and hold it tight against the surface of the tooth. Rub it back and forth and up and down on the tooth simultaneously. This removes the plaque and debris from below your gums. Repeat it for all teeth and don’t forget the backside of the last tooth of your arch.
For a water flosser you just have to guide its tip around the teeth and the water jet does the rest of the work. The high pressure of the jet is sufficient to dislocate the debris and plaque from below the gums.
What is the difference between regular floss and a water flosser?
The efficiency factor is the primary difference between regular floss and water flosser. Just as the electric toothbrush is more effective at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrush, the same applies to flossing. Furthermore, the water flosser is more convenient to use around dental braces, dental crowns and bridges while also saving time when compared to manual flossing. Regular floss amy damage your gums if you use it aggressively but with water flosser the probability is negligible.
How to choose a water flosser?
An oral irrigation device should be able to remove maximum bacteria from your mouth just like Dr Trust water flosser which removes 99.9% bacteria thus providing maximum possible protection from gum diseases. What makes it your first choice is the portable, cordless design and easily rechargeable battery. Filling water in the device is quite convenient while the water capacity can easily accommodate longer flossing sessions. Dr Trust oral irrigator has 3 modes of operation namely normal, soft and pulsed which can be easily adapted according to the health demands of your teeth for example, if you have sensitive teeth, you may use the pulse mode or the soft mode to floss.
And lastly, the water pressure of 40-90 psi has a high efficacy in removing plaque and debris trapped between teeth, not to mention the waterproof design of Dr Trust oral irrigator.
It’s high time to adopt innovative oral health devices in your daily oral hygiene regimen to combat gum diseases and have a healthy smile all along.