Let’s be honest. Most people don’t enjoy flossing. It’s not as easy to do as using an electric toothbrush. Depending on your smile, it doesn’t reach everywhere, either. You might need a floss threader, or have periodontal pockets that are simply too deep for the floss to access.
Although flossing is still an excellent oral hygiene tool, there’s still a bit of a gap for people who need to clean deep gum pockets, between back teeth, under fixed bridges, or around their dental implants.
That’s exactly what water flossers were designed to do.
A water flosser is a special tool that sprays a strong stream of water out of a long, slender tip. “Waterpik” is the most popular brand of water flossers, which is why some people refer to these devices by that name.
Water flossers come in a variety of designs to fit your preference. Some are small and entirely handheld, with a built-in reservoir to hold water inside of the handle. Others have a larger counter-top reservoir so that you don’t run out of water as quickly. Then there are other designs that have a small tube that attaches directly to your sink faucet or showerhead for an unlimited water supply and easier adjustment to the temperature.
Numerous studies have shown that water flossing reaches quite well under the gums and fixed dental work. For people with past periodontal disease and deep pockets, this feature is extremely important. Since flossing can only reach 2-3 millimeters under the edges of your gum tissues, you need something that can safely clean deeper under those pockets. That’s exactly what water flossing does and in a gentle manner.
Some studies have shown that water flossing can actually reach as far down as 7mm below the gum lines, inside of periodontal pockets. This characteristic alone makes water flossing priceless for our patients undergoing gum disease therapy. When you’re able to safely flush away loose dental plaque before it sticks to and accumulates inside of gum pockets, it takes your periodontal care plan to the next level.
Using a water flosser can be a little messy and take some practice. It might even feel a little ticklish. With time, all of that gets easier.
All you have to do is adjust the pressure of the water, then trace your gumlines, with the stream flushing down toward the edges of your gums. Take a moment to pause between each tooth, cleaning the gum pocket on each side of those respective teeth.
Our doctors at PCE see a night and day difference in their patients who religiously use their water flossers. So, whether you’re investing in one for convenience’s sake or you’re trying to get a grip on aggressive periodontal disease, a water flosser can be helpful to just about anyone. Pair your water flossing with intermittent professional cleanings and gum therapy to keep oral diseases at bay!
Contact our periodontist in The Woodlands today to schedule your next appointment.