If you have dental implants, you can brush your teeth as usual. However, flossing may be problematic, depending on the type of implants you have and the reasons for those implants. For patients who should not be flossing with traditional thread floss, there is another option. Discover how water flossing works and why it is the best option for some patients with dental implants.

The Risks for Inflammation

According to Carol A. Jahn, RDH, dental implants are a viable modern solution for people with missing teeth. However, the implants come with a few risks. One of those possible risks is peri-implant mucositis, which is an inflammation of the soft tissues around the implant. If a dentist detects the issue and treats it immediately, the problem can be resolved. If it continues, however, the condition can turn into peri-implantitis and may result in bone loss as well as implant failure.

Writing for Dentistry IQ, Carol Jahn explains, “Peri-implant mucositis is common, occurring in up to 80% of people with implants or about 50% of implant sites. The most common cause is the buildup of bacterial biofilm.” She recommends that patients work to eliminate that biofilm every day to preserve the health of the gums surrounding the implant.

A Substitute for String Floss

Because of the design or position of certain implants, flossing simply isn’t an option. In these cases, Jahn recommends the Waterpik Water Flosser with a Plaque Seeker tip. According to a recent study at Tufts University in the United States, bleeding was far less common with people who used water floss instead of regular floss.

How the Water Flosser Works

The Water Flosser functions by emitting a pulsating stream of water that patients can direct and use to clean areas of their teeth that are tough to reach. The pressure and the pulsing action create hydraulic force strong enough to scour away biofilm, yet gentle enough to leave teeth unharmed. Pathogens hiding out in the pockets of the gums around the teeth are dislodged and flushed out.

In addition to the water streams, the Water Flosser includes a Plaque Seeker tip. This tip consists of three groups of bristles. The slender clusters of bristles help users seek out biofilm and other buildup and brush it away.

Using a Water Flosser

If you’re planning to begin using the Water Flosser or a similar product, start with the pressure on the lowest setting until you get used to it. Once you understand how to handle the device, you can increase the pressure. Usually, a medium-high setting works best for patients with implants. Make sure you look down, towards the sink, while working with the Water Flosser, so that any splatter or spray is contained. Warm water or room-temperature water is ideal for use with the Water Flosser.

Learning More about Water Flossing

Are you curious about the Water Flosser or similar products? Talk to your dentist in Singapore about the best way to clean your dental implants. At Orchard Scotts Dental, we encourage our patients to ask questions and stay informed about new, effective ways to improve their oral health. With dedication to good oral hygiene, you’ll be able to maintain your dental implants for a long time.

Source: Dentistry iQ, March 14, 2017