Is Water Flossing Better Than String Flossing?
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Water flossers or water picks, technically an oral irrigator, if you’re asking, are increasingly popular, but are they effective? Only 32% of adults floss daily, so there is absolutely a need for an easier way to clean between teeth. Going without daily flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning leaves all of those people, most of us, at serious risk of gum disease. So let’s find out if water picks live up to the hype.
Are Water Flossers Better Than String Floss?
Water flossers seem to be very effective according to current research. A 2013 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss found that water flossers were “significantly” more effective than string floss. Specifically, they found that after a single-use water flossers were 29% more effective at removing plaque. They were particularly better at removing plaque and accumulations from between teeth, and that’s most of why we floss, isn’t it?
Something that may be worth considering is that one of the authors of the 2013 study, Deborah Lyle, was employed by the Waterpik corporation from May 2004 until January 2022 as their Director of Clinical Research. Waterpik’s page for clinical research about water flossers lists many studies that include Deborah Lyle as a contributor.
However, other researchers were involved, and other studies exist that point to the effectiveness of water flossers. A 2021 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss is an example, though they did not have such strong conclusions as the 2013 Deborah Lyle study did. They found instead that water flossers were just as effective as string floss, not more so. That is why they recommended water flossers to those with braces, retainers, or who have fine motor skill issues.
So, water flossers do seem to work and could potentially replace string floss or floss picks in your oral health routine. But are they superior to string floss? They might be, but considering, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to knock yourself if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon just yet.
Are There Any Downsides to Water Flossers?
While great at cleaning your teeth, there are a few things to consider before you run out and get one. Water flossers can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, according to a 2021 study. Put simply, because water flosser heads touch your mouth and stay wet, oral bacteria can grow on it. Even in spite of following provided cleaning recommendations. That’s not all, this study limited itself to studying only the nozzle, not the hose or water reservoir itself. So while trying to clean your mouth there is the possibility that you could be spraying your teeth with bacteria.
It’s no secret that toothbrushes can be a source of illness and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. However, proper storage and sanitary precautions, even ones as simple as rinsing your toothbrush and letting it dry, have been shown to reduce bacteria considerably. Allowing it to dry is crucial and would be much more time-consuming to practice with a water flosser. Because a water flosser is a reservoir of water with an attached hose it seems proper cleaning would require draining it and its components and allowing them to dry after each use, at a minimum. Certainly more time-consuming than standard care and cleaning instructions would have you think is necessary for proper use.
Besides cleanliness, it’s also worth considering that no one is likely to travel with a water flosser. That just means that you’ll need to keep using string floss for overnight stays. That is to say, even if you get a water flosser, don’t throw out all your old string floss. You’ll still need it if you intend to keep up a daily hygiene routine.
If I Get One, What’s The Best Water Flosser?
The ADA, the American Dental Association, has an approved list of water flossers. The ADA only allows its seal to be used on products that “include data from clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy according to product category requirements developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs”. The ADA is one of the largest professional organizations for dentists meaning that any product bearing the ADA seal can be reasonably trusted. If you are considering trying a water flosser we strongly encourage you to factor the ADA’s recommendations into your decision.Learn About Our Office Request Appointment
What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?
Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with Dr. Kacos and Dr. Patel before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.
Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.
Overbite & Underbite
Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.
A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.
Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth
These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.
Limitations of Invisalign®
While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact Shreveport Dental Solutions at 318-378-5452.
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Why Are My Teeth Stained?
To many people, a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine is a ritual that cannot be disturbed or broken, but as there are many joys that come with those drinks there are still many enamel-straining prices. There are 3 different types of staining that can happen to your teeth and different causes. Learn more below. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, Shreveport Dental Solutions in Shreveport, LA can help!
Types of Stains:
Tooth discoloration can be caused by surface stains, material changes in your teeth, or a mix of the two. Tooth discoloration can be divided into three types, according to dentists:
- Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains are a type of discoloration that affects the outer layer of your teeth. Extrinsic stains are not as permanent as the other types, these stains will not respond to simply brushing your teeth. If there are cracks on the teeth they can become deep-set and begin to be harder to remove.
- Intrinsic Teeth Stains: This type of stain will be found on the inner layer of your teeth or the dentin. Though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, the darkened dentin can cause the whole tooth to appear discolored.
- Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains are a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. The core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, will naturally yellow over time causing your teeth to become discolored. Another factor that may cause your teeth to show discoloration is that the enamel of your teeth will become thinner allowing the dentin to show through.
Causes of Enamel Stains
There can be many causes when it comes to teeth stains. Certain drinks and foods can cause there to be stains on your teeth, but there can be a biological factor as well. Many times there can be ways to prevent these stains from appearing on your teeth and many that you can not control. This list can help you determine what the cause was behind the stains on your teeth.
- Food & Drink: Coffee, dark sodas, red wine, and some fruits and vegetables can be so acidic that they cause staining.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discoloration
- Oral Care: Tooth discoloration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.
- Trauma or Disease: Discolored teeth can result from any trauma, illness, or disease that impairs enamel formation in children, whether in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8). Adult teeth can sometimes become stained as a result of trauma. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of disorders and therapies, chemotherapy and radiation, for example, cause tooth discoloration.
- Medical Treatments: There are times when some medical treatments can contribute to your teeth staining as well as some medications.
Ways to Help Clear Stains
There are a few remedies that can help lessen the impact of these causes. With help of some products, the coloration of your stains can become less apparent, but will not fully remove those stains.
- Keeping a consistent healthy oral routine – brushing twice a day and daily flossing
- Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
- Limitation of teeth-staining beverages
- At-home remedies – brushing with baking soda products
- Professional teeth whitening
If you are interested in getting your teeth back to pearly white, contact Shreveport Dental Solutions in Shreveport, LA today for a professional teeth whitening session!