Print
Category: Homepage
Hits: 214

 

Furthermore, a recent study on flossing by the Associated Press indicated that there’s little evidence that flossing actually helps. Dentists have quickly come to the aid of flossing, but the debate remains, is flossing worth it?  Perhaps there are other viable alternatives too, such as using an oral irrigator.   

An oral irrigator acts as a mini water faucet for your teeth, flushing out any food remains and other harmful bacteria in places that regular flossing wouldn’t normally reach.  It’s been shown to be much more effective than floss in many ways but also has its downsides.

First, we’ll take a look at what flossing does, determine if it’s worth it and then look at alternative options.

Flossing: What You Need To Know

floss

One would think the benefits of flossing are pretty obvious. It picks out the food from between our teeth that regular tooth brushing missed. Is that the only thing flossing does, though? Technically the answer is no.  The goal of flossing goes a bit beyond that and attempts to do more cleansing than we realize. It can also remove plaque and debris from between the teeth and slightly under the gum line. The American Dental Association claims removing this helps prevent future dental problems such as cavities, bleeding gums, dental decay, periodontal disease, the need for root canals, premature loss of baby teeth and permanent loss of adult teeth. It is also known to be good for freshening your breath.

There is a variety of flossing strings you can choose from, depending on your tooth type and how frequently you would use it. For example, you may have seen in stores “waxed floss” and “unwaxed floss” and wondered what’s the difference. Unwaxed floss focuses on getting those tight spots in between teeth, but unfortunately, tends to break more often and risks leaving strands behind. Waxed floss, on the other hand, is less likely to break but makes it harder to thread through the tighter spots.

You may have also seen Dental Tape on store shelves, a broader and flatter material. This type of floss is only good if you have large spaces in between your teeth. It is also for those who don’t floss on a regular basis. You may have also seen kids with braces buy Super Floss, a yarn-like material that is good for cleaning out braces and dental bridges.

Finally, there is Polytetrafluorethylene Floss (PTEE) that is made with the same material used in high-tech, gore-tex fabric. This floss slides easily in between teeth and is also less likely to shred. Glide Floss uses this material in their floss, but users claim they don’t find it as breakage resistant as it advertises.

To Floss or Not To Floss?

So why have people stopped flossing? Some have been put off by it because it caused their gums to bleed. One source explains that the bleeding is caused by the initial removal of the plaque from your teeth and will heal in five to six days. Many have claimed they don’t see the benefit of threading the stringy material in between their teeth, and now scientists are getting in on this as well.

Experts have said that flossing has not been thoroughly proven to prevent cavities and severe periodontal diseases.  Some even go as far to say it’s damaging to your oral health because it could potentially be spreading germs around your mouth. It has also only been partially proven that flossing helps with the removal of bacteria in plaque. One source claims flossing reduces the risk of gingivitis, but also admitted his evidence is that of low quality. Despite this, dentists say those who choose not to floss are taking a risk for their dental health.

The Benefits of the Oral Irrigator

For a lot of people, flossing may seem like a hassle and a tedious task to do in your morning or evening routine. That’s why so many have seen the attraction in using The Oral Irrigator. The Oral Irrigator Waterpik is like a take-home dental tool that does all the flossing for you.  It jets out a surge of warm water under a variety of settings.  It’s been clinically shown to reduce plaque better than traditional floss. 

Using the device is easy.  You would begin with the lowest setting, starting with the back molars and holding it for 3-5 seconds before moving on to the next tooth. Eventually, you would raise the setting to a higher pressure as your teeth get used to the pressure.

The Oral Irrigator reaches spaces deep down in the gums that floss wouldn’t be able to reach, making it an excellent choice for those who have braces and gum disease. Also, because of the number of pressure settings it has, it’s great for those who have implants, crowns, bridges and sensitive teeth.

The product promises to improve blood circulation with a massaging action, flush away harmful food bacteria and prevent dental conditions. Those who have used it have experienced less bleeding, firmer gum tissue, and more comfortable dental visits. Overall, the Oral Irrigator has been clinically proven to provide significant oral health.

Putting a Price On It

When comparing to the hassle of flossing, there seems to be little room for a downside to the Oral Irrigator. But just like any other product out there, the Oral Irrigator isn’t for everyone.

The major drawbacks of an oral irrigator are its price and the water spray.  Waterpik has a variety of models that differ in features and price, but generally speaking a quality oral irrigator such as a Waterpik Ultra will cost you around $60.  Furthermore, you’ll need to replace the heads about every 3-4 months – same as your toothbrush.

Using the device is easy. You would begin with the lowest setting, starting with the back molars and holding it for 3-5 seconds before moving on to the next tooth. Eventually, you would raise the setting to a higher pressure as your teeth get used to the pressure. The Oral Irrigator reaches spaces deep down in the gums that floss wouldn’t be able to reach, making it an excellent choice for those who have braces and gum disease. Also, because of the number of pressure settings it has, it’s great for those who have implants, crowns, bridges and sensitive teeth. The product promises to improve blood circulation with a massaging action, flush away harmful food bacteria and prevent dental conditions. Those who have used it have experienced less bleeding, firmer gum tissue, and more comfortable dental visits. Overall, the Oral Irrigator has been clinically proven to provide significant oral health. Putting a Price On It When comparing to the hassle of flossing, there seems to be little room for a downside to the Oral Irrigator. But just like any other product out there, the Oral Irrigator isn’t for everyone. The major drawbacks of an oral irrigator are its price and the water spray. Waterpik has a variety of models that differ in features and price, but generally speaking a quality oral irrigator such as a Waterpik Ultra will cost you around $60. Furthermore, you’ll need to replace the heads about every 3-4 months – same as your toothbrush. Others might have the concern about water spray. Once you learn how to effectively control the water hose, you’re not likely to have too many issues with water going everywhere. The first several uses are likely to be a big messier, though. The best solution is to lay down several towels to soak up excess water, but you could avoid the situation altogether by purchasing a portable Waterpik. These can be used in the shower where water is already flying everywhere Which is Better? Now the question remains: which is better to use, flossing or the Oral Irrigator? It all depends on the user. While the appeal is definitely there to use the Oral Irrigator with its seemingly better benefits, the expensive cost of the tool could be a deciding factor for those who prefer a cheaper method of taking care of their dental hygiene. The risk factors for either product are about the same – both flossing and oral irrigator do not 100% prevent dental issues. Ultimately, the choice to use either floss or the oral irrigator is up to you. If you’re planning on changing a major component of your oral care routine, though, it’s best to talk to your local dentist and get his/her opinion.

Others might have the concern about water spray.  Once you learn how to effectively control the water hose, you’re not likely to have too many issues with water going everywhere.  The first several uses are likely to be a big messier, though.  The best solution is to lay down several towels to soak up excess water, but you could avoid the situation altogether by purchasing a portable Waterpik.  These can be used in the shower where water is already flying everywhere

Which is Better?

Now the question remains: which is better to use, flossing or the Oral Irrigator? It all depends on the user. While the appeal is definitely there to use the Oral Irrigator with its seemingly better benefits, the expensive cost of the tool could be a deciding factor for those who prefer a cheaper method of taking care of their dental hygiene. The risk factors for either product are about the same – both flossing and oral irrigator do not 100% prevent dental issues. Ultimately, the choice to use either floss or the oral irrigator is up to you. If you’re planning on changing a major component of your oral care routine, though, it’s best to talk to your local dentist and get his/her opinion.