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Lisa Guenst, RDH

I’ve been a dental hygienist for more than 25 years and know the challenges my patients have with flossing. Through the years, I’ve seen that many do not clean between their teeth. Patients hate flossing. They state that floss is difficult to wrap around their fingers and it gets stuck between their teeth. Patients with braces also have a difficult time because it’s challenging to clean around their bands and difficult for them to clean between their teeth, which leads to puffy bleeding gums. The times I’ve recommend an oral irrigator, patients say that the water makes a mess all over their bathroom. They complain it needs to be plugged in or recharged. Patients also don’t like how much counterspace it takes up and that the reservoir keeps needing to be refilled.

Those working in the dental field know that removing this debris between teeth is important for good oral hygiene and to prevent gum disease. Our teeth have five sides and when patients are not cleaning between their teeth, they are only cleaning three of those sides, leaving 40 percent of each tooth uncleaned. Flossing has long since been recommended as the way to reach this 40 percent.