If you’re thinking about a career as a dental assistant, your job might involve advising clients on oral health practices in order to ensure that they’re taking good care of their teeth. As you also might come to realize as a dental assistant, many of the clients you speak with will struggle to floss regularly, and may even only be flossing upon visits to the dentist. While many people just don’t floss, either because it’s too much work or because it makes their gums bleed, it’s important for you to remind them that flossing is still a really important step in their oral health routine that shouldn’t be skipped. While the most common kind of floss is conventional wax dental floss, water flossing is another option clients can consider.
Here are five things to know about water flossing, so you can keep clients informed about their flossing options and hopefully encourage them to floss more.
Those with Dental Assistant Training Should Know What a Water Flosser Is
Water flossers are cleaning tools which, when plugged in, expel fine streams of water that can remove plaque and food particles when pointed at the gum line or in between the teeth. Water flossers target plaque and accumulated harmful bacteria. While they perform the same function as dental floss, water flossers can be helpful when used to combat inflammation and bleeding gums, which may be worsened by flossing too hard. Those with a dental assistant career may consider recommending them to clients who struggle with bleeding gums and desire a gentler approach to flossing.
Water Flossers Could Be Better For Braces
Water flossers are also a good alternative to regular dental floss for clients with braces, as they can be used for easier removal of hard-to-reach particles stuck in teeth. It’s often difficult for people with braces to properly keep their teeth clean, and water flossing can help to make the removal of plaque buildup easier than conventional floss, which is often difficult for clients to get in and out of orthodontic appliances.
Sensitive Teeth Can Benefit From Water Flossers
Just as water flossers can benefit clients with braces, they can also be ideal for clients who have dental implants or whose teeth have undergone various restorative procedures. When you become a dental assistant, it’s important to advise clients who have implants or restorations that they must take care of them properly in order to ensure that they last as long as possible. Water flossers can be a good option to recommend as they are safe for use and typically less harsh.
In a Clinical Study, Water Flossers Were Found to Perform Better than Regular Floss
In one clinical study, water flossers were found to be more effective for removing plaque than regular string floss. The study monitored adults using floss or water floss in tandem with tooth brushing, and found that the group using a water flosser had a 74.4% reduction of plaque, while the string floss group had only a 57.7% reduction. This study is certainly something to keep in mind when considering the effectiveness of water flossers.
If Clients Are Reluctant to Floss, They Might Like Water Flossers
For those clients who struggle with flossing regularly, consider the fact that water flossers are actually easier to use as they require less work from the hands compared to string floss. This can be especially beneficial for clients who have limited mobility in their hands, or who have arthritis. Additionally, the entire process only takes around a minute, which can make it easier for clients to fit into their routine.
Of course, while water flossers come with many benefits, they might not be a good fit for everyone. Due to their higher cost, they may not be ideal for clients who are budgeting or worried about their finances. In addition, because of their bulk and size, water flossers might be inconvenient for clients who travel a lot, or who have limited storage space.
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