Easier Flossing with AirFloss Pro from Philips Sonicare Supports Oral and Overall Health
Barbara J. Steinberg, DDS, who is Clinical Professor of Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, observes that patients are more motivated to take better care of their oral health because of recent reports linking oral and general health. “Patients are learning more about how oral health is related to systemic health, and the relationship of periodontal diseases to heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, preterm/low birth weight babies, and certain types of cancer, etc.,” she says.
Other than the American Dental Association’s recommendation that people chew sugarless gum 20 minutes after meals to help prevent caries, Steinberg says that not much has changed in terms of personal oral healthcare protocol. “People still need to brush for 2 minutes, twice daily, and clean interproximally every day,” as well as drink fluoridated water, and avoid between-meal snacks.
Fortunately, she says, there are tools that make it easier to comply with the “Big 2” in home-care—brushing and interproximal cleaning.
Steinberg herself admits to being a relative latecomer to power-toothbrush use. She believed that, as a dentist, she was able to brush optimally with her trusty soft-bristled manual toothbrush and excellent technique. “I was a believer in manual toothbrushing until about 15 years ago, when I personally used a Philips Sonicare and made the decision to switch to a power toothbrush,” she recalls. Steinberg uses the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum model and believes everyone—particularly patients—could benefit from the technology. As for her own conversion, she says, “It’s not just the science—ie, that the bristles provide 4 times more tooth surface contact and deliver 7 to 10 times greater plaque removal—that keeps me using my Sonicare. My teeth feel cleaner, and, based on my dental checkups, I know I’m now doing a better job of keeping my teeth clean and my gum health in a more optimal state.”
Steinberg makes it clear that the Philips Sonicare line of brushes is available at all price points, and the features and benefits increase with model advancement. Among commonly available features are modes for sensitive teeth and a timed quadrant pacer to signal when to move the brush to another section of the mouth.
Given that traditional flossing is the oral healthcare task people generally dislike the most, Steinberg has been recommending the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro, which is clinically proven to be as effective as flossing, removing up to 99.9% of plaque that brushing misses. This device, she says, delivers three bursts of air and liquid micro-droplets between the teeth to disrupt and remove plaque interproximally and in hard-to-reach areas during a single 60-second treatment.
Steinberg considers the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro a boon to personal healthcare, mainly because it responds to a reality: most people don’t or can’t floss as often as they should. “I personally don’t mind flossing, but for the person who hates to floss and/or performs it inconsistently, this is as efficacious as flossing for removing plaque and food debris,” she maintains.
Steinberg says that excellent oral home-care is essential to maintaining good health, but neither professional care nor home-care is a substitute for the other. “However acceptable someone’s home-care might be,” she says, “patients should be evaluated regularly by their oral healthcare provider.” A routinely scheduled professional checkup, she points out, also serves to detect other disease conditions—including oral cancer—that the patient would otherwise be unaware of. Steinberg notes that an annual visit may not be sufficient for all patients, especially those who are prone to periodontal diseases or caries. “Their recare schedule should be determined by keeping with their individually specific oral and overall health status to assess, monitor, and treat them as needed,” she says.
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