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We’ve Got A Few Reasons You Might Want to Start Using A Water Flosser

by Carolyn Lee Feb 20, 2023

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Benefits of Flossing and Why You Might Want to Try A Water Flosser

Proper oral hygiene can help prevent bacteria in the mouth and reduce the risk of oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque can build up between the teeth and along the gumline when you skip flossing. So, daily brushing and flossing are worthwhile dental care habits to develop and maintain.

Overcrowding in the mouth or tight teeth can make flossing painful for some people. Today, the option of using a water flosser might make flossing easier. Yello asked Dr Keisha Smith-Pagan from Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Society (JCDS), to share her perspective on water flossers and how they might be beneficial to oral hygiene. Dr Smith-Pagan specialises in paediatric, family, and cosmetic dentistry.

What makes water flossers beneficial?

According to Dr Smith-Pagan, a water flosser is a practical oral hygiene aid that you can effortlessly incorporate into your daily cleaning routine. This device typically sprays water at high pressure around and between the teeth. The water helps to dislodge larger pieces of food and debris from the teeth.

Water flossers are particularly useful in patients with braces or who have advanced restorative work like implants and bridges. They, however, are not a replacement for conventional flossing, which is the only tool that effectively removes the smear of plaque that adheres to the tooth surface in-between the teeth.

We've Got A Few Reasons You Might Want to Start Using A Water Flosser

Is plaque removal necessary?

Plaque forms on and around teeth when bacteria in the mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods and drinks. Bacteria in the mouth release acids that break down carbohydrates and can combine with these acids to form a film of plaque around and on your teeth and gums. The acids released from bacteria in plaque can attack tooth enamel. If these acids remain without brushing and flossing, they can result in cavities or tooth loss.

Why is flossing crucial?

Flossing can help reduce plaque in and around the teeth and gums, prevent tooth decay, reduce bad breath (halitosis), and minimise the risk of gingivitis. Choosing traditional dental floss (waxed or unwaxed) is left to preference. People with their teeth closer together or crowded might prefer a wax coating to make it easier to get into tight spaces. Floss also comes in tape form, broader and flat, which works well if there are gaps in your teeth.

What else should you know about water flossers and dental care?

Avoid sharing your water flosser with others to lower the risk of contamination with bacteria. Try to floss for two minutes at least once daily. Having follow-up dental care visits with your dentist for examination and cleaning also helps. During the examination process, we check the health of your teeth and gums and make recommendations if we detect any dental issues.

Thank you, Dr Smith-Pagan, for sharing these tips with us. Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Society has a team of dentists including Dr Rochelle Powell and Dr Marissa McCreavy-Roberts. Their office is at 7-9 Ardenne Road, Kingston 10. Interested people can visit the JCDS website for additional information.

Sources: JCDS, Dr Smith-Pagan and Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Society.