My oldest sister graduated from hygiene school when I was still a kid. For the entirety of my childhood and into my twenties, she was the only one who ever cleaned my teeth. She used to beat me over the head about flossing. Guess who is not great at flossing? Teenage boys. Guess who also is not great at flossing? People in ortho. So teenage Josh, in full brackets and wires, was not a fan of flossing. Yet she nagged me about flossing at every recall. It never stuck. I was never a great flosser throughout my teenage years. I was never a great flosser in my early twenties. I definitely was not a great flosser while in ortho.
Why did dentistry as a profession keep beating the same drum about flossing even when we knew we would not change the vast majority of patients into flossers? I see it all the time in my practice now. I try to influence my hygienists to be pragmatic about flossing. We understand that there are patients who will never add flossing to their routine. We try to find alternative answers for those patients.
Clean & Boost by Vista Apex
Pulse Wave technology has been built into the Power Flosser. This incorporates brief pauses in the cleaning pulsations to prompt the patient to glide the nozzle to the next interproximal space, ensuring that none are forgotten. This should help cue patients to do a full mouth cleaning intuitively.
We know that patients don’t want to floss. We’ve known that for decades. Having alternatives for interproximal plaque control in patients who will just never be regular string flossers is important. In addition, we all have patients with complications to flossing like ortho or implants who actually would do better with a Power Flosser than they would with string floss. Incorporating the Sonicare Power Flosser into our stable of options for all of these patients will make our patients better at removing plaque. That’s a positive for everyone!
Editor's note: This article appeared in the February 2022 print edition of Dental Economics.