Do at-home dental devices actually work?
Makers of many at-home dental devices claim to help you clean your teeth as well as your dentist. But do they actually work?
There is no shortage of home dental products on the market: from at-home ultra-sonic cleaners, electric toothbrushes, and powerful water flossers. Many can help keep your teeth clean, but Dr. Fred Guerra of Guerra Dental said nothing beats a trip to the dentist.
“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,” he said.
Dr. Guerra said before you use any at-home dental instrument you find online, run it past the professionals.
“Really, the best recommendation might come from your hygienist when she’s seeing you. She can actually see what’s going on in your month and any areas that you’re missing,” he said.
Water flossing products come in portable sizes now. So is water flossing a good substitute for people who may have a hard time building a good flossing habit?
“The Water Pik 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,” Dr. Guerra said. “The bottom line is, whatever allows you to get the job done most comfortably and efficaciously would be the best method to use.”
No matter how clean you’re able to keep your teeth with at-home devices, he said you none of these products should replace going to the dentist on a 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 really operating in the dark,” he said.