Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. But keeping them that long means you need to provide them with the proper care. This includes regularly visiting Dr. Anderson for checkups twice a year as well as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash every day. Effective home care is especially important – brushing, rinsing, and flossing help remove plaque and debris that would otherwise cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Of these steps, regular flossing plays a particularly important role. Dental floss is an interdental cleaner because it cleans the surfaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like to floss. In fact, “only 35 percent of patients occasionally use dental floss, and only 2 to 15 percent floss daily.”
Even though most people know that flossing is important, many people don’t like to do it. Some of the reasons for not flossing that our Gunnison dental team has heard include:
- It’s painful
- It’s difficult to hold the floss
- It can cause bleeding
- They think brushing alone is sufficient
- It’s not easy to reach the back part of your mouth with floss
When it comes to flossing, there’s no excuse for skipping this critical step. However, you do have options beyond traditional string floss for cleaning every space in your smile.
Don’t Like Flossing? Try an Oral Irrigator
An oral irrigator is an interdental cleaner that uses water to flush out the matter between your teeth. Oral irrigators are often referred to as water flossers or Waterpiks. Many people prefer to use oral irrigators over flossing because oral irrigators are more gentle and easy to use. Oral irrigators are also more convenient to use around braces and dental bridges.
Many dentists recommend using oral irrigators as a complement to flossing instead a replacements for flossing because an oral irrigator such as Waterpik “doesn’t remove plaque from teeth as well as floss.”
Gum Disease and Oral Irrigators
Gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis, is a bacterial infection that afflicts almost 65 million Americans. A common symptom of gum disease is bleeding, especially during brushing or flossing. If your teeth hurt when you chew or if you have bleeding gums, you should make an appointment to see Dr. Anderson immediately. There’s a good chance you have gum disease, a condition that can cause you to lose your teeth.
People with gum disease develop pockets of infection around the base of their teeth. Oral irrigators are a gentle and effective way to flush out gums that are afflicted with gum disease. Research indicates that oral irrigators are “up to 93% better at reducing bleeding and up to 52% better at reducing gingivitis than floss.”
It’s important to remember that Waterpik is the “only irrigation device to receive ADA approval for reducing gingivitis and associated bacteria.” People who suffer from gum disease should consult with their dentist about the best way to achieve effective home care.
Protect Your Smile – Visit our Dentist in Gunnison
Dr. Anderson is your smile restoration specialist. Contact our office today to see what we can do for your smile.