Most of us remain half asleep in the morning while standing in front of the mirror while brushing our teeth. The lack of focus during brushing fails to remove the bacteria and food particles stuck between the teeth. That is where flossing, and gargling with mouthwash can help. These can remove the debris more effectively than brushing. However, flossing is time-consuming for some people, and they may face difficulty in accessing the teeth at the back. Water flossers are a great idea for this.
A handy tool
Water flossers are prefabricated machines that can be held in your hand to clean the teeth. The water from the flosser comes out in a force splashes the food particles out which are stuck between the teeth. It can even reach out to the closed spaces between each tooth and behind the last molars.
Who can use water flossers
“Water flossers are particularly helpful for those who are physically challenged, have difficulty using their hands, and people with nervous disorders and muscular disorders,” says Dr Indrajit M, periodontist and implantologist, Bengaluru. The caretakers can help them with oral hygiene measures using water flossers.
People who wear braces find difficulty in brushing or flossing as it may interfere with the braces. They can use water flossers to clean their teeth. People having implants, crowns and bridges in their mouth can use water flossers as the water can pass through the teeth and the fixed teeth replacements.
The tip expels the water in a pulsating motion. “The rhythmic flow of water causes a massaging effect on the gums, increases blood circulation, and improves gum health,” says Dr Indrajit. He adds that if the water flosser causes pain and sensitivity, avoid using it, and consult your dentist. This may be due to hidden cavities in the sides of teeth, abrasion (tooth wear near the gumline), and underlying gum issues.
A 2020 study conducted by Deborah M Lyle and her team showed that using an electric toothbrush and water flosser for four weeks showed a reduction in bleeding gums, gum inflammation, and plaque (a sticky deposit on teeth).
Tips to use the water flosser
- A single water flosser can be used by the entire family, but each member should have different tips.
- Avoid using tap water, as the dirt particles can clog tips and ruin it faster.
- Some water flossers have an inbuilt timer, which provide a signal after every 30 seconds.
- Using the water flosser as a daily oral hygiene measure can keep you away gum diseases.
- It can effectively clean the upper and inner surfaces of teeth without missing them.
- The process of using a water flosser is more enjoyable as it is more convenient to use and ensures faster cleaning.
- Experts caution though that you should use water flossers along with brushing and not as a replacement for brushing.