From wax floss to water flossers and dental picks, there are a number of products on the market that you can use to clean between your teeth. If you have struggled with using traditional floss in the past, you've probably considered switching to another method. Generally speaking, all types of accepted dental flossers do a satisfactory job of cleaning between the teeth. Take a look to find out what type of product is best for your specific needs!
The most common method of cleaning between the teeth is via dental floss. Countless research papers show that using floss once a day between the teeth helps prevents cavities, gum disease and the growth of bacteria in these areas. If you have had issues with using floss in the past, you may have more success with handle flossers like the Reach Access Flosser. These products are easier to manipulate in the mouth and provide the same cleaning motion as traditional string floss. If you still want to use regular floss but find it shreds between your teeth or hurts your gums, consider switching to a waxed floss like Oral B Glide. No matter what type or brand, always floss in an up and down motion, bringing the floss against one tooth, down to the gum level and back up, then repeating this motion on its neighbor.
Some patients will prefer pick or brush type flossers over traditional string floss. In fact, research shows that individuals with severe recession or large spaces between their teeth will benefit more from products like the GUM Proxabrush than traditional floss. The key is that it still needs to be used once a day on every tooth. With these products, it is important to make sure that you are not traumatizing your gums or causing prolonged bleeding. This can be a sing of erosive wear that can lead to more recession.
Water flossers like Waterpik can also be used to clean out plaque, bacteria and food from in between the teeth. A side benefit is their ability to clear out packed-in food from the pits and grooves of the tooth biting surfaces. The biggest concern with these products is that they can be quite abrasive to the gums and dental enamel. Be aware of the water stream strength and tip you use, particularly if you are using a water flosser every day. Also, never add anything other than water to the flosser's tank without consulting a dentist first.
The type of flossing method you use is largely a matter of personal preference. The most important part is that you are cleaning between your teeth once a day, every day. Flossing daily takes about a minute of your time but can save thousands of dollars long term. For more information on oral hygiene, flossing or toothbrushes, please give our office a call!