The last time I had my teeth cleaned by my hygienist, she told me that my gums were a little more swollen than she’d like to see, particularly in one area. She asked me if I’ve been flossing regularly (meaning at least twice daily, as recommended). I fought the urge to let out a little white lie and say that I was a religious, devoted flosser (which she would know the truth anyway because she’s a hygienist and she can evaluate the condition of said gums). But instead, I was honest and told her I did floss, usually once per day. Well, people, regular flossing is non-negotiable if you want to have a healthy smile. Not to mention if you want to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
Gum disease is the infection of the bone and gums that surround your teeth. It can be symptomless and if left untreated, it can cause bone and tooth loss. There are warning signs, such as red, swollen, puffy or bleeding gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should let your dentist know right away. The best way to protect your smile is to brush and floss at least twice daily and to visit your dentist for a cleaning and checkup at least every six months.
My hygienist told me that there are alternatives to floss that are just as effective, or in some cases, even more effective than regular dental floss. Knowing your flossing options and discovering what your favorite method is may make you more likely to floss regularly. Makes sense, right? I mean there are dozens of different types of toothbrushes to choose from, electric and manual, and there are dozens of different types of toothpastes and flavors to choose from as well. Why not discover the alternatives to the traditional string of dental floss you’ve probably been using forever.
The first alternative to traditional floss that my hygienist told me about is a Waterpik. The Waterpik uses water to clean between your teeth. No floss involved at all! Many people find it more gentle than using floss, and yet it can be more effective than regular floss. You can learn more about what a Waterpik is and how it works by visiting http://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/dental-water-flosser/WP-100/.
On their website, the company explains that “The Waterpik® Ultra Water Flosser is The Easy and More Effective Way to Floss!™ And Waterpik® is the #1 recommended Water Flosser brand among Dental Professionals. The Waterpik® Ultra Water Flosser is the ultimate in water flossing performance. It features 10 pressure settings, a contemporary design that is smaller and quieter than previous models, a covered reservoir with in-lid tip storage, and 6 unique tips. Waterpik® Water Flossers are clinically proven to be more effective than traditional dental floss and Sonicare® Air Floss for reducing plaque, gingivitis, and gum disease. And it’s perfect for anyone with braces or implants, and those with crowns, bridges, and veneers.”
Other alternatives involve flossers that have a small plastic handle and interdental brushes, which are little brushes you use to clean in between your teeth. If you would like more information about alternatives to traditional flossing, please talk to your hygienist or dentist at your next visit.
Bright Side Dental is a dental group with locations in Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Livonia, Canton, Southfield, Clarkston, Farmington, Warren, and Royal Oak, Michigan. Visit www.BrightSideDental.com.