What’s more boring than discussing dental care and flossing? But gum disease is linked to more serious issues and threatens your heart health, so we are starting Monday with the most dreaded of beauty routines. When I started brushing with a Sonicare toothbrush over 12 years ago, it completely changed my teeth. They felt cleaner than ever before and were noticeably whiter after just a few days. More importantly, I haven’t had a single cavity since (check out their super cool, new model that comes in different colorways like black). I have had plaque, however, which is where Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro (on Amazon for $79.99) comes in. The game-changing flosser just launched this year and I say game-changing because nearly every time I go to the dentist, the hygienist asks me if I floss since I have so much plaque…and I do! Every single day I floss!! Now we finally have a high-tech approach to flossing and it makes such a difference. In the same way that once you go with a Sonicare toothbrush it’s impossible – at least for me – to go back to manual, I imagine anyone who uses AirFloss will feel the same way about manual flossing. The device allows you to remove 99.9% of plaque in 60 seconds (basically it lets you get rid of way more than you can see or feel). All you do is fill the device’s reservoir with mouthwash, place it in between your teeth, and press activation button. The device then shoots out small drops between your teeth (when you hold down the activation button, you’ll get continuous, automatic bursts so the whole process is a lot quicker than it might sound).
The one downside is that the flosser is a bit cumbersome to tote around while traveling. As an alternative when on-the-go, I love the DenTek floss pick travel case (on drugstore.com for $2.99). Each case is pre-packaged with floss picks that are so much easier than regular waxed floss to slide in between your teeth and remove food and plague (Oral-B also makes great ones). I find these so much more effective than regular floss, especially in times when I don’t have a mirror.
As a general rule, no matter what tool you use to floss, it’s so important to remember “technique” if you’re doing manual flossing. I spoke with Dr. Victoria Veytsman, owner of Cosmetic Dental Studios (she treats a bunch of celebrities and Miss USA/Teen USA girls), about this and her big point was that we have to make sure to get in between the spaces of the teeth and slightly below the gums where the bacteria resides. “Some of this bacteria causes gum disease and can damage the bone surrounding your teeth, causing more serious problems. Floss should be easy to use so that it glides gently between teeth. It’s not a simple up and down motion. This merely gets food particles out.”