Courtesy of Philips
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Pearls for Your Practice: Sonicare Power Flosser by Philips

Feb. 26, 2022
Irrigation units have been around for decades—so what makes the Power Flosser special or different? Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, explains its advantages.

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.

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One of the best alternatives we’ve found is the Sonicare Power Flosser. The Sonicare Power Flosser is a countertop reservoir-based irrigation system for removing plaque and biofilm in places that brushing alone can’t reach. Although irrigation units have been around for decades, the difference with the Power Flosser is the Quad Stream nozzle. This unique cross-shaped nozzle creates four wide streams of water for a thorough clean interproximally and along the gingival margin. This Quad Stream attachment can actually break up biofilm, which has always been a barrier for irrigators in the past.

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.

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