Is Water Flossing Better Than String Flossing?
Learn About Water Flossing With us at Valley Family Dental
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
Blue Covarine Toothpaste: Does it Really Whiten?
Learn About Teeth Whitening and Blue Covarine With Valley Family Dental
There’s always a demand for new ways to whiten teeth. From at-home tips like brushing with charcoal to new professional whitening techniques like ultra violet light activated gels, there’s no end in sight. One ingredient that has been getting attention for the past few years is called blue covarine.
Blue covarine is an ingredient in some toothpastes that is supposed to gently whiten teeth through consistent usage.
Does Blue Covarine Toothpaste Really Whiten Teeth?
The evidence is mixed. A 2015 article in the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that toothpastes containing blue covarine were no more effective than standard whitening toothpaste. In that same study at-home teeth whitening products containing carbamide peroxide, a similar ingredient to hydorgen peroxide, and professional in-office teeth whitening treatments were both far more effective at whitening teeth than either toothpaste.
Another study investigating the effectiveness of blue covarine toothpaste found that it was no more effective than a regular toothpaste. Most of it’s effectiveness came from the abrasive effect of brushing itself rather than the toothpastes ingredients.
A 2019 study from the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that blue covarine toothpaste was less effective than either standard whitening toothpastes containing hydrogen peroxide or toothpastes containing microbead abrasives. Interestingly, toothpastes containing microbeads were the most effective at whitening teeth.
In conclusion, blue covarine toothpaste does not seem to compare to other whitening methods, even other mild teeth whitening products. There’s no reason to use blue covarine over other whitening toothpastes with better ingredients.
Professional Teeth Whitenings
Navigating the best way to whiten teeth are home can be overwhelming. You want whiter teeth, but you don’t want to risk damaging or risk wasting your money on something that doesn’t work.Learn About Teeth Whitening Request Appointment
What Does Flossing do?
Oral Hygiene Tips From Valley Family Dental
Flossing prevents gingivitis, or gum disease, by preventing the build-up of plaque on and between your teeth. Plaque is a form of biofilm a sticky bacteria that if left unchecked can cause serious harm to your teeth by causing cavities, decay, and even risking infections if you have an oral injury.
Flossing can also prevent halitosis, or bad breath, by removing excess food particles from your mouth. Some bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth also cause bad breath if left unchecked. The American Dental Association recommends flossing, stating that it can remove the vast majority of plaque. By flossing you prevent the bacteria from growing and spreading to the point where it can smell. Much of the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath will also feed on food stuck in your teeth.
Is Flossing Really Necessary?
Some people might feel like they already have oral health issues or that since they’ve neglected flossing so far, so there’s no reason to start now. But the truth is that there is never a point where starting good oral hygiene habits won’t help.
The long-term effects of allowing bacteria to grow are serious and can range from cavities to gum disease and eventually loss of teeth and bone loss. Losing bone from your jaw is a serious and effectively irreversible consequence of long-term oral health neglect. But preventive maintenance, including flossing, can greatly reduce the risk of any of these problems.
Tips for Effective Flossing
A study published in a journal by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that flossing before brushing is the most effective. This is particularly true when using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Traditional string flossing has also been shown to be more effective than pick-style flossers. However, the most effective form of flossing is what works for you and will make you more likely to floss. While we might recommend that you try to floss the old-school way, the most important thing is that you figure out a style and routine for flossing that you’re able to maintain.Learn About Valley Family Dental Request Appointment
What Foods Stain Teeth: Common Culprits
Avoiding Teeth Stains With Valley Family Dental
Many people wish that their teeth were whiter. One thing that you may not realize is causing your teeth to be discolored is the things that you eat. The foods you eat can actually have a significant effect on the color of your teeth. Join us at Valley Family Dental in Roland, OK, and Fort Smith, AR as we dive into some of the most common foods that can stain your teeth.
Coffees & Teas
Tea and coffee are both highly acidic, which can weaken the surface of your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. Tea and coffee also both contain tannins, which help their coloring stick to your teeth. There is some evidence that having milk in your tea or coffee can help reduce the amount of staining.
Dark-colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries also cause staining. Switching to lighter or creamy sauces can help mitigate some staining.
Fruits & Berries
There are many vibrant fruits that can stain your teeth. Think of the fruits that can stain your clothes – pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. In the same way that they can stain your clothes, they can stain your teeth.
Sodas are highly acidic thanks to their carbonation. In addition, the dyes in these drinks – including light-colored ones – can cause staining. There are also chemicals in the drink that eat away at your enamel.
How to Mitigate Staining
There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of food on the color of your teeth. While cutting out the food listed above would be the number one way to reduce their effect, even we enjoy having them so we’ve included things you can do to reduce the staining while still enjoying your favorite foods.
- Use a straw. Using a straw when drinking your favorite beverage helps reduce the amount that the acidity and coloring of the drink comes into contact with your teeth.
- Brush after you eat. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you eat food that can stain. It’s important to wait a little bit of time to allow the acidity in your mouth to get balanced out so you don’t cause additional damage.
- Rinse your mouth. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and remove some of the staining agents from your mouth.
- Visit your dentist. Having regular checkups and teeth cleanings at your dentist is a great way to help your smile stay beautiful.
In addition to providing teeth cleanings, we also proudly offer teeth whitening services in the Roland, OK, and Fort Smith, AR areas. Please call our Roland, OK office at 918-503-6262 or our Fort Smith, AR office at 479-226-3500 or use the link below to schedule an appointment for teeth cleaning or whitening.Schedule Your First Whitening at Valley Family Dental Learn More About Teeth Whitening