If you're like most consumers, you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the abundance of available information concerning best practices for home dental care—especially since a certain amount of this information is conflicting. For instance, even the simple act of flossing has come under fire in recent years—and investigation conducted by the Associated Press has found that the practice doesn't have the benefits claimed by the American Dental Association. Many dental care professionals, however, strongly believe that the investigation is substantially lacking in conclusive evidence, and the general consensus seems to be that flossing remains an important part of maintaining optimal oral health -- and if you're like most people, you'd rather hedge your bets when it comes to the prevention and reversal of serious conditions such as periodontal disease.
Many consumers are also concerned with recent findings that dental floss may be coated with toxins such as a Teflon-like substance to provide it with a nonstick surface. Fortunately, there are many natural care strategies available for those who want to promote good dental health and avoid being exposed to toxic substances. Following are four ways that you can get the benefits of flossing your teeth without using traditional dental floss.
Use Natural Dental Floss
Several dental floss products are available on the market that have been coated with natural wax such as beeswax. You can also use simple silk thread to floss your teeth, and at least one company is currently manufacturing a floss that is made of pure silk. You may also wish to look for dental floss that hasn't been bleached.
Oral irrigators are handheld devices that work by providing a pulsating stream of water that removes food debris and plaque from between the teeth, as well as cleaning out the area below the gum line. Otherwise known as a water jet, oral irrigators are considered by many dental health professionals to be a superior option to traditional flossing, especially for those who wear braces or have bridges or crownwork. After all, the idea behind flossing is to access places where a toothbrush can't reach, and pulsating streams of water can get into places where even dental floss can't reach. Some oral irrigators also come with the option to add an antibacterial rinse, making them far more effective than dental floss alone.
Dental Floss Picks
Dental floss picks have become quite popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional floss. Many consumers appreciate the fact that they're easier to handle than traditional floss, particularly when it comes to reaching the spaces between the teeth in the back of the mouth. They can be purchased with nonslip handles for those who have difficulty maneuvering traditional dental floss, and disposable and permanent varieties are available. Some dental floss picks also come equipped with tongue scrapers, and although most are basic, handheld tools, some are battery operated. Battery-operated dental floss picks do double duty as gum massagers, making them a good option for maintaining good gum health and even reversing the effects of gum disease.
Interdental brushes are tiny brushes specifically designed to clean between the teeth. Most experts agree that they are as effective as traditional floss at removing food debris and plaque from areas of the teeth that a normal toothbrush can't access. They can also be purchased in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate individual variations in mouth size and structure.
Please feel free to reach out to your local holistic dental care practitioner for more information on how you can prevent and reverse gum disease using a variety of natural techniques.