The most difficult part of dental hygiene might be converting nonflossers to flossers. Many patients just will not floss regularly, and we all must learn to live with that.
I frequently find that dental floss itself is the major hurdle to getting patients to floss more regularly. When given alternatives, many floss-resistant patients are able to choose an adjunct that helps them debride interproximal plaque. One of our roles in helping our patients should be helping our nonflossers find tools that work for them and their lifestyles. Being familiar with the tools on the market is a responsibility of both the dentist and the dental hygienist.
A fairly new adjunct in the fight against interproximal plaque is the GumChucks product line from OralWise Inc. Named after the weapon, nunchucks, GumChucks have two independent handles that click onto a length of disposable floss. With the two independent handles, patients are able to achieve the C shape with the floss, so it hugs the roots of the teeth. Few flossing adjuncts could achieve this. The two independent handles also make flossing a bit easier for patients who have dexterity issues.
GumChucks also offers GumChucks Kids, which are smaller and packaged with a comic book theme and a trading card to arm kids with the “weapons of plaque destruction.” The other product in the line, Orthogami, offers a novel approach to flossing around orthodontic appliances, allowing the patient to sneak under the archwire to floss “in less than two minutes.” OralWise is really doing some unique, creative things to help patients with home care.
Check out their website, www.gumchucks.com, and order some samples. We could all use a few more “weapons of plaque destruction”!