Tag Archives: Water Flossing

Water Flossing Versus Flossing

Recently, water flossing has become more and more popular. Whether you get a Waterpik machine, a specialty toothbrush with water flossing capabilities, or some other form, water flossing is becoming much more accessible. So, what is it? Is it good for you? Should it replace your traditional flossing with string floss? We’ve got some answers for you. 

Water Flossing

Water flossing, also known as water picking, has many advantages. Water picking is an easy to use a machine that uses a high-pressure stream of water to remove food particles and plaque from teeth. This action can massage gums, improving gum health, and reach areas that traditional floss may not reach. The pressure of the water can push food particles away from the teeth and clean them at the same time. 

Water picking does require a water picking device, which can be expensive. Using a water pick is fairly simple. Fill the water reservoir and adjust the pressure. While leaning over a sink, use the tip of the water pick to shoot water in between teeth and along the gumline. Start with the back teeth and move forward. When finished, eject tip and clean the device.  

Traditional Flossing 

Dentists have preached traditional flossing for decades—and for a good reason. It’s an extremely effective method of removing food particles and plaque from teeth. Flossing is a cheap and easily accessible method of oral care. It can be done anywhere with little effort. 

Flossing daily has long been a practice of those with good oral hygiene. When flossing is not part of your daily routine, you become vulnerable to gum disease. If gum disease does occur, the gums will swell and bleed when you floss. Even so, flossing is still relevant.  Flossing less can lead to more gum sensitivity. 

Water Flossing vs. Traditional Flossing

Though both of these techniques can be beneficial to your oral health, water flossing should not replace traditional flossing. Water flossing is an excellent addition to your oral hygiene routine, but it is no substitute for flossing. 

According to a study done in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, those who used both traditional string floss and water flossing saw a 74.4% reduction in plaque. In comparison, those who just used string floss had a 57.7% reduction in plaque. 

Using both water flossing and traditional flossing can combat plaque and keep your teeth healthy longer. Reduce chances of gum disease and tooth decay with multiple flossing techniques. 

For the best oral health brush twice daily, floss with string floss daily, floss with a water pick where possible and visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. Work fluoride in your routine where possible for the best results.

The Effects of Pacifiers on Your Child’s Oral Health

Is there reason to be concerned about pacifiers? It’s true that they can impact the oral health of your child—both negatively and positively. It all depends on how and when your baby is using their pacifier. In some situations, pacifiers can impact the dental development of your baby—this is commonly referred to as pacifier teeth. 

Are pacifiers bad for your baby?

Pacifiers are not necessarily bad for your baby if they are weaned off of them before the age of two. After that, teeth start to develop, and oral health can be impacted. As the jaw develops, if there is consistently a pacifier, a thumb, or other obstruct in it, the jaw will develop around it. This can lead to an overbite, underbite, misaligned teeth, changes in the roof of the mouth, or other issues. In short, if a baby used a pacifier long term, it can impact the shape of their mouth and the alignment of their teeth. Sucking a thumb can have a similar effect. 

Pacifiers can also lead to other issues. Babies who are six months or older and still using a pacifier are at higher risk for ear infections—introducing a baby to a pacifier before one month can create problems with breastfeeding. 

Benefits of a Pacifier

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, there can be many benefits to a baby using a pacifier between the ages of one month and six months. It’s natural for a baby to enjoy sucking—it can be very soothing for them. Giving them a pacifier can prevent them from using their thumb. Though there is no real harm in thumb sucking, it is much more difficult to wean off of. You can take away a pacifier, but you can’t take away a thumb. It’s also easier to keep a pacifier clean and germ-free. 

According to a study done by the American Academy of Family Physicians, pacifiers can reduce a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS.)  

Weaning the Pacifier 

It seems that the key to using a pacifier is to wean off of it before it can cause damage. There are many methods for helping your baby break the pacifier habit. Praises and rewards when they don’t use the pacifier can be helpful. Giving them a little extra help or comfort when they usually use their pacifier is also a good idea. It’s crucial to avoid punishments or scolding regarding the pacifier; this can lead to other issues and has proven to be ineffective. 

No matter your baby’s pacifier habits, be sure that you are caring for your little one’s teeth.  Keep them clean by brushing them twice daily with toothpaste formulated for infants or babies. Reduce their risk of pacifier teeth and other oral issues and start good oral hygiene early on.