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Are you tired of hearing your dentist lecture you at each of your teeth cleaning appointments because you’re not flossing enough? Some patients don’t think flossing helps their teeth and some don’t floss because they lack the hand dexterity to do so correctly.

In this article we’re going to look at a new type of flossing technique called air flossing, which can be more effective than traditional flossing and is easier for those with limited dexterity or who have certain dental appliances/fixtures.

What is the Purpose of Flossing?

Flossing correctly reduces the amount of plaque on teeth by about 40 percent. That’s just one main reason why you should floss daily.  Here are several other reasons why flossing is important:

  • Flossing works by removing plaque and tiny food particles that get stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Flossing eliminates plaque buildup before it hardens into tartar. This way, you won’t have to suffer through having tartar scraped off your teeth.
  • Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to cavities and the early stages of gingivitis. Left untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease and possible tooth loss. Flossing is the first step to keeping gums healthy.   

Is Manual Flossing Effective?

Manuel flossing involves using thin strips of fiber to clean between your teeth. But just how effective is it:

  • Many people consider flossing a boring, tedious activity and therefore only do it sporadically. If you don’t floss properly, it’s not effective.
  • Flossing can be difficult if you lack hand dexterity.  It’s also tricky to use manual floss if you wear braces or dental bridges.
  • Flossing can be painful if you have sensitive teeth or swollen gums. Instead of helping, manual flossing can feel abrasive and irritable on your teeth and gums.

How is Air Flossing Different?

Airflossing uses a handheld device that uses both compressed air and droplets of water to clean in between your teeth and your gumline. This is called microburst technology, and it removes the plaque film from your teeth. However, it’s different from both manual flossing and waterpiks.

  • Nearly 90 percent of users think it’s easier and more satisfying to use than manual flossing.
  • It uses a precise water flow, unlike waterpiks. You can manage the flow using different pressure heads to eliminate the mess usually associated with waterpiks.
  • It’s ideal for braces and bridge work since an air flosser only uses a burst of air and water, instead of a steady stream of water, like a waterpik.
  • Air flossers allow you to add warm water or a mouthwash of your choice when cleaning your gums and teeth.

Which Air Floss Should I Use?

Dr. Kanehl recommends the Sonicare Airfloss. It makes it easier to floss your teeth without doing a major arm work-out. All you need to do is fill the power flosser with water or your favorite mouthwash, and then aim the nozzle at your gumline. Clean your gums and teeth for up to a minute and blast away plaque and bacteria. It’s better to use the air flosser before brushing so you have less plaque and tarter to brush away.

For more information about flossing correctly and the advantages of air flossing, please contact Kanehl Dental.