Tools and Tricks of Oral Picking from Aspen Grove Dental Associates
When you hear, “Are You a Picker?” in Nashville, you probably assume someone’s asking about your instrumental skills. But we mean something completely different. We want to know if you pick your teeth.
You hear it from us every visit; the importance of brushing and flossing at least twice a day. In addition to this regular maintenance, we like to encourage all our patients to be “picky” about their oral health by including Oral Pix in our post-visit dental gift bag. We think being a picker is awesome!
Controlling plaque and gingivitis is an essential part of every patient’s self-care program in order to avoid periodontal disease. Unfortunately, brushing alone can’t remove plaque in those gaps between teeth and gums known as the interdental or interproximal areas.
According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly half of Americans have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth caused by excess plaque and gingivitis. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
Picking (with the proper tools) is a great way to supplement your interdental and interproximal cleaning and it’s an easy, fast and convenient way to remove debris and control gingivitis.
The primary tools used for interproximal cleaning include floss, waterpiks, wood sticks and rubber tips. No one tool suits everyone. We provide rubber tip Opal Pix because you can easily use them to get between teeth, their textured surface helps massage gums and remove debris and you can carry them with you anywhere. If you’d prefer using a more natural material, you can get the same benefits from wood sticks.
Waterpiks are electronic units that resemble your toothbrush. Similar to pressure washing your deck (with less pressure) waterpiks send a strong stream of water through a small nozzle that washes away the debris and plaque. While not as convenient as rubber tips or wood sticks you may enjoy the refreshing feeling of cool pulsating water on your gums.
Flossing is the best way to care for these sensitive areas. The American Dental Association reports that up to 80 percent of interdental plaque can be removed by this method. But you may not always find time to floss or it might not be a convenient time or place.
You may not feel comfortable rolling out a line of floss and going to town on your teeth in a public bathroom. Picks are ideal for those times when you want to clean your teeth but also want to be more discrete.
It’s a great idea to keep picks in different locations where you might need them. Keep one in your purse, your glove box in your car, your office desk.
Waterpiks are an easy addition to your daily routine. If you’re regularly brushing and flossing it’s not hard to add another two minutes of water picking to your regime.
So, help us make Nashville the pickin’ capital of the world for reasons other than country music. Become a picker!