With winter now well underway, you know it’s time for loads of holiday photos. Make sure your smile is at its best for all the memories you’ll capture in the coming year. The start of 2017 is a great opportunity to ensure your dental health.
Removing the plaque and bad bacteria that builds up between your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for your smile. But with busy schedules and lives, we know that flossing regularly can be a hassle. It can also be more difficult for children, seniors, or people with limited mobility. Luckily, there are lots of great alternative flossing tools to keep your teeth healthy and happy, so you won’t worry about flaunting your smile.
1. Waterpik Water Flosser
Three years have passed since our Best Flossing Tools for 2014 post, but the Waterpik is still our #1 choice! An innovative approach to oral care, Waterpik Water Flossers use powerful streams of water to clean in between your teeth with less discomfort. They are much more effective than traditional floss, especially for people with braces, since water flossers remove as much as 99.9% of plaque when used correctly. The Waterpik does a better job of removing bacteria between teeth and even below the gumline, where traditional brushing and flossing can’t reach. Plus, the streams of water massage and stimulate the gums, improving circulation and gum health. It’s not the cheapest item out there, but it’s worth it. If you want a great tool for your dental health, the Waterpik is the perfect addition to your holiday wish list.
2. Sonicare AirFloss
AirFloss is a new device developed by Philips Sonicare to remove plaque biofilm from between the teeth. It uses a rapid burst of air and water droplets—called “microburst technology”—to remove plaque, food buildup, and bad bacteria from between the teeth. The best part? With the push of a button, your teeth are clean in 60 seconds! Sonicare regularly offers coupons and rebates on the product, and patients agree that the AirFloss is worth every penny. Put it on your wish list today!
3. Flossing Picks
Even if you prefer traditional floss, there are still ways to make flossing quicker, easier, and more effective. One of the most difficult aspects of flossing for many people is actually maneuvering the floss between the teeth and gums, especially those hard-to-reach molars in the back of your mouth. That’s why several companies such as Dentek and Plackers offer special flossing picks that make flossing easy even for sensitive teeth. Flossing picks are made of plastic with a piece of floss already attached. The pick holds the floss for you, so you can breeze through your nightly flossing routine in less than half the time it takes with traditional floss. Best of all, these devices are only a few dollars for a package of around 50, so they are a very inexpensive option to traditional floss.
4. Oral-B ThreaderFloss
If you have braces, a permanent retainer, or other dental restoration, you may struggle with traditional floss because you have to thread the floss around the wires on your teeth. Luckily, Oral-B makes a great product called ThreaderFloss—a single piece of floss with the threader built in, designed specifically for using with braces or other dental implants. Throw away your old plastic threaders and say goodbye to the awkward flossing-with-braces routine! ThreaderFloss allows you to floss easily and quickly—and it’s only about $5 for 30 pieces, so it could be the perfect stocking stuffer for you or your teenager.
5. Flavored Floss
For some patients, the minty or cinnamon taste of flavored flosses can make the task of flossing worse. Children in particular may dislike flossing products because of the taste (or lack of taste). Now there are alternatives to the flosses you’re used to finding in your local drug store aisles, including some pretty wacky, surprising floss flavors. Archie McPhee sells dental floss with flavors like bacon and cupcake to make flossing more appetizing. Flavored floss is a fun way to get your kids (or you!) excited for cleaner teeth.
Dr. Mullins and his team at My Family Dentistry are ready to help you make the coming year your best for dental health. Contact us today to learn more about flossing tools or to make your first appointment of 2017!
What are your flossing tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!