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Your Healthy Family: Do at-home dental gadgets really clean your teeth better?

Posted at 11:13 AM, Mar 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 13:16:19-04

Disclaimer: This is sponsored content. All opinions and views are of Guerra Dentaland does not reflect the same of KOAA.

In this Your Healthy Family, we’re talking about at home dental instruments you might see in the store or that pop up in your social media feed. They might even claim to help you clean your teeth as well as your dentist’s office.

There is no shortage of home dental products on the market these days, from at-home ultra-sonic cleaners, electric toothbrushes and powerful water flossers. Many can certainly help you, in your efforts to keep your teeth clean, but they should never be thought of as a replacement for your dentist and hygienist.

Dr. Fred Guerra says when it comes to at-home dental products, “Consumers have to really understand that if used properly, they can be a great adjunct to keeping your teeth clean and your gums clean. But if used improperly, they can actually cause damage.”

So, before you take any at-home dental instrument you may have found online to your teeth, run it past the professionals who know teeth the best, and ask their opinion. While it may seem like hygienists scrape mercilessly on your teeth with a tiny metal hook, or high-powered streams of water, they have the schooling and training to do it in a way that cleans your teeth and doesn’t damage them.

Dr. Guerra says, “Really, the best recommendation might come from your hygienist when she's seeing you. She can actually see what's going on in your mouth and any areas that you're missing.” Dr. Guerra says they can also advise you of products that you can buy, that will safely help you do a better job at home.

Many orthodontic patients wearing braces turn to a water flossing, or Waterpik product instead of flossing because it’s just too much of a hassle to even think about threading floss above the brackets to clean in between the teeth and gums. Water flossing products even come in portable sizes now. So is water flossing a good substitute for people who have a hard time building a good flossing habit?

Dr. Guerra says, “The Waterpik has been proven to be very efficient at cleaning in between the teeth and between gums right up to those contact areas underneath the gum line. I highly recommend it for those folks that for whatever reason, flossing just isn't in their future and they haven't been doing it.”

Using a water flossing device, might be better than only occasional flossing, or not flossing at all - but the bottom line is you don’t need to buy expensive electric gadgets to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Nothing will do the job better than the recommended brushing and flossing habits from your dentist.

Dr. Guerra says, “Will a manual toothbrush do the same thing? Yes, of course, it will, and there is no substitute for dental flossing. If you have the dexterity to floss properly, slide the floss down in between your teeth past that point where those teeth touch, and where the floss actually snaps through. Because that contact area is very susceptible to tooth decay. That's where most decay starts, right where the teeth touch together and right where that floss snaps through.

So if you choose to spring for the expensive electric ultrasonic toothbrush or cleaner, and water flosser or anything else you enjoy using that your dentist approves of, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dr. Guerra says, “The bottom line is, whatever allows you to get the job done most comfortably and efficaciously so would be the best method to use.”

And no matter how clean you can keep your teeth with your at-home oral hygiene routine, you should still see your dentist on the recommended regular basis.

“Individuals that are trying to cut down on going to the dentist by using at-home products what they're missing is a diagnosis. No matter how clean your teeth are, you can't have a diagnosis of potential problems without visiting the dentist. While I laud those folks for their efforts of keeping their teeth nice and clean, they're operating in the dark.”

Anytime you have any questions about your dental health, follow up with your dentist.

Guerra Dentalis a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family