For those of us who visit the dentist on a regular schedule, we tend to cringe when asked if we’ve been flossing.
Nobody wants to lie, but the truth tends to shed light on our lack of compliance with a beneficial component of good dental hygiene. I’m sure there are those people who have excellent dental hygiene routines that include daily flossing, but for the rest of us, we’re struggling.
Now, we all know that we should be flossing daily, but we also come up with a plethora of excuses why it’s easier to ignore a regular flossing habit.
Typical excuses include: flossing is too time-consuming, it’s too hard to get in between teeth, the floss frays or splits…and so on. The fact is that flossing your teeth and gums improves oral hygiene when combined with brushing. The Surgeon General, CDC, and other health agencies recommend flossing daily to promote healthy gums; if experts think you should floss, it might be time to jump on that bandwagon. Flossing has some serious health benefits including removing plaque, which is a culprit in causing cavities and gum disease, something we all want to avoid for both our oral health and to save on high dental costs to fill in cavities or reverse the effects of gingivitis.
The bottom line is that there are many places, especially between teeth, that your toothbrush simply can’t reach; therefore, it’s important to combine brushing with flossing during your daily dental hygiene routine. So, if you want to do the right thing to promote healthy teeth and gums, but know that you just can’t face the waxy thread and manual cleaning, what’s the best alternative to traditional flossing? Try water flossing!
Here are five reasons to incorporate water flossing into your daily, dental hygiene routine:
Water flossing is super simple and can be completed in 60-seconds per day. Simply fill up the water reservoir on your water flossing unit, plug it in (unless it’s battery operated) and turn on the switch! It will take a few uses to really get comfortable with the water flossing process, but in no time, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness of your daily dental hygiene routine. If you’re curious about how exactly to use a Waterpik®, take a look at this short water flossing demonstration:
Easy to Use
Waterpiks are easy to use and convenient – taking only 1-minute to floss your entire mouth! It also takes less manual dexterity to complete, which is good for kids or the elderly. Plus, Waterpik models come in various sizes such as countertop versions, kids’ models, and travel editions. You’ll be able to find one that’s right for your dental needs and lifestyle with no problem.
Studies show that water flossing penetrates approximately 50% farther into the pockets of teeth than traditional flossing. There are different flossing tips available with the Waterpik, such as the Classic Jet and Plaque Seeker® tip, which helps to eliminate plaque in those hard to reach areas. Plaque is a major contributor to gum disease and cavities – especially if you tend to eat sugar or carbohydrates – so be sure to remove as much plaque as possible from your teeth and gum line each day.
Gentle on Dental Work
Water flossing is strong enough to remove food particles from in between teeth but is also gentle enough to use on dental work such as implants, crowns, and veneers. Regular water flossing also extends the life of dental work by keeping it in tip, top condition! Consider using a special flossing tip, like the aforementioned Plaque Seeker® tip, to remove stubborn plaque around dental work, really working that gum line!
Water flossing is also a must for those with braces. There is nothing easier for removing food particles from in between brackets and wires than water flossing. This option is also typically more fun than traditional flossing for kids and teens with braces; and since Waterpiks are so easy to use, kids and teens can use a water flossing device all on their own. Water flossing with braces is clinically proven to be 3x more effective than brushing alone, which definitely helps protect the monetary investment braces require. Also, utilizing the Orthodontic Tip when flossing makes it easier and more effective to keep braces clean.
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For those of us who bleed heavily on a trip to the dentist, the main culprit is typically a lack of flossing, causing inflammation of the gums. When using a water flosser daily, you can reduce inflammation of the gums and help prevent gingivitis. There have been multiple studies that compare water flossing to traditional, string floss and the findings are consistent: water flossing is superior to string flossing, especially when it comes to inflammation and gingivitis. One study showed that using water flossing reduced bleeding by 93% and was up to 52% more effective at reducing gingivitis than string floss.
Water flossing is also an advantage for those with diabetes since these individuals tend to have a greater risk for periodontal diseases, including gingivitis. Using water flossing to help prevent inflammation and gingivitis will only help you achieve an overall clean and healthy feeling in your mouth, especially for those with diseases that can negatively impact oral health.
If you’re now convinced of the importance, ease, and benefits of water flossing, let’s help you get started with a daily routine. There are many amazing water flosser options available by Waterpik, definitely worth exploring. Here are a few that you might consider purchasing:
- The Waterpik Aquarius is a top-of-the-line water flosser, which comes in a counter-top model and is great for everyday use.
- The Waterpik Water Flosser for Kids is a perfect choice for kids ages 6 and up and promotes a good dental hygiene routine. This model is also perfect for kids and teens with braces.
- The Waterpik Cordless Freedom is a travel-sized water flosser that’s a fantastic option for those who have limited counter space or who travel frequently.
- And many more models are available at www.waterpik.com or Amazon
There is an initial investment when purchasing a Waterpik – typically under $100 – and there are so many options available that you’ll easily be able to find one that fits your budget and your needs. Visit Amazon.com for some additional models and pricing options as well.
If you’re still not convinced that water flossing is right for you, consider the fact that our mouth carries hundreds of types of bacteria, some good and some bad. Water flossing helps eliminate the “bad” bacteria around teeth and gums, especially in hard to reach places that brushing simply can’t tackle.
As a reminder, a healthy, daily prescription is to brush for at least 2-mintues, twice daily, and use an interdental cleaner to keep your teeth and gums plaque-free and healthy. Hopefully, you are convinced of the benefits of taking 60-seconds per day to improve your oral hygiene routine.
Also, consider beginning your water flossing routine prior to your next scheduled dentist appointment to avoid those awkward flossing conversations and improve the health of your smile! There are many advantages to utilizing a water flosser…so no more excuses!