Oral irrigators are one of the most valuable tools you could keep near the bathroom sink. An oral irrigator “flosses” your teeth with liquid, cleaning the deeper or more sensitive areas that floss can’t reach. It does not replace floss, but adds to its effectiveness. Cleaning out the pockets between your gums and teeth is the most important step you take to keep your mouth clean. Flossing catches the larger, stickier chunks of plaque that build up in your gums and around your teeth; irrigation deeply washes out anything that the floss misses — and you’d be surprised at how much debris is still rotting in your gums even after a “thorough” brushing/flossing!

Oral irrigators can be used with plain water — we use ozonated water — but special mouthwash-like liquid concentrates are also made for them that can be used at home. We have chosen a supplying company that makes 100% natural, chemical-free concentrates that taste great and do a great job of keeping bad bacteria at bay. Ask us about ordering some if you’d like to try it.

Irrigation should be done about once daily. A good time would be before you go to bed. You are done eating for the day and will want to clean your teeth before sleeping and leaving any food particles to sit in your mouth overnight. Like flossing, after a little while you’ll be able to see and feel a difference in your teeth after irrigating. Your gums become stronger and healthier and your teeth stay whiter. Irrigation is excellent, also, for healing from minor infections and early gum disease. But that post is for tomorrow.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

www.dentalwellnessarts.com

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