Brushing alone is not enough to achieve optimal oral health. Since toothbrushes have limited access to the surfaces between the teeth bacteria can accumulate, multiply and remain undisturbed. Undisturbed plaque can cause gingival inflammation and bleeding and increase the risk for and progression of periodontal disease. Accessing the spaces between the teeth can be challenging!
One option to clean these areas between the teeth is floss. Another option available is a water flosser. If you don’t like to floss, or find it difficult, a water flosser may be a great option for you.
There are two key elements in how the Water Flosser works; pulsation and pressure. Pulsation has been shown to be three times more effective than a steady stream. It works by providing a compression and decompression phase that allows for the clearing of bacteria and debris from the pocket. Studies have shown that it can remove plaque biofilm from pockets up to 6mm deep.
There are several models available, and several manufacturers. For best results make sure you purchase one that has both pulsation and pressure options.
Many people prefer a “cordless” model which is also available. There are also various tips you can use – if you are unsure which tip would be best for you, ask your dentist or dental hygienist at your next visit.
When using a water flosser follow the tips below:
- Fill the reservoir with warm water, or warm water and an antibacterial mouthwash, and place it on the base, pressing down firmly to ensure full seating.
- Select the tip and press firmly into the handle.
Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure).
Lean over the sink and place tip in mouth.
Turn unit on. Close lips to prevent splashing, while allowing water to flow from mouth into sink.
Start with the back teeth and pause briefly (3 secs) between teeth, aiming the tip just above the gum line at a 90 degree angle.
When finished, turn unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.
Remove water from reservoir.
If you would like more information, ask us during your next dental appointment.