According to a recent Wealthy Dentist poll, 64% of dentists recommend “regular dental floss” for cleaning between teeth.
If you factor in the dentists who opt for floss picks, the figure jumps to 75%, while just 13% recommend interproximal brushes and 3% recommend power flossers.
“I just want them to floss with something,” said a California dentist.
All well and good. Flossing is important and should be done daily. But sometimes it just isn’t enough – especially when a person has gum disease. It can’t clean the gumline completely, nor the periodontal pockets that form around the teeth. And since excellent home hygiene is one of the keys to preventing, controlling and reversing gum disease (others include a healthy diet, stress management and not smoking), it pays to expand your cleaning repertoire.
As we’ve written before, there are many tools for dental home hygiene. Of course you have your standard brush and floss (or dental tape). But there are also Perio-Aids for cleaning the necks of the teeth and the gumline; interproximal (“proxy”) brushes for cleaning between teeth; and oral irrigators for flushing out perio pockets. Additionally, with the last two, antimicrobial herbal solutions such as the Dental Herb Company’s Under the Gums Irrigant can be used to enhance cleaning and overall periodontal health.
Sometimes when we talk with clients about improving their home care, it can all seem a bit overwhelming – as if dental hygiene will become a huge, time-consuming chore. But, really, it’s only about 15 minutes of your day, max, even using the extra tools. Many find it helpful to keep a Perio-Aid and floss near their computer, TV, reading chair or anyplace where they regularly sit and get in the habit of using it while there.
For that’s the real key to keeping up good dental hygiene at home: habit. Once you get a routine going, you tend to keep it up. It becomes second nature. And you soon realize that keeping your teeth and gums clean isn’t time-consuming at all.