CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If your kids have braces you know flossing is anything but easy. A product called Power Floss claims to be the fastest, easiest, pain free way to floss your teeth – even with braces or other dental work.
"With braces, it's difficult to get underneath the wires and the brackets and it's a source of plaque and food accumulation," said Dr. Nathan McGuire with McGuire Orthodontics in Cape Girardeau.
Dr. McGuire said while difficult, flossing is still important while wearing braces. He said not flossing can lead to cavities. So he was excited to test out a product that aims to help keep his patients' teeth cleaner.
"We're dealing with a specific population of patients that are probably 10-15 years old who probably aren't going to floss anyway," said McGuire.
Thirteen-year-old patient Savannah Sides admitted she was one of the non-flossers, but said she only occasionally breaks the rules of braces.
"Like if you eat stuff you're not supposed to eat it can break your braces, it can get stuck in your braces and you can't get it out,"
Sides said she hoped Power Floss would help her keep her secret no-no treats a secret by washing away the residue.
Power Floss operates by propelling water from a small reservoir through a thin hose, focusing the stream to hopefully wash away any gunk between your teeth.
"It kind of looks like a fancy squirt gun," said Dr. McGuire. "I'm a little skeptical. I think it'll lack the power to clean between the teeth like flossing would, but we'll see if it works."
Dr. McGuire followed the instructions and primed the Power Floss for use. Then he examined Sides' pearly whites to see if there were any areas of concern.
"It looks like overall Savannah's doing a pretty good job of keeping her teeth clean, but as with most of our patients she has a little plaque and buildup in between her teeth so we'll give it a whirl here," said Dr. McGuire.
When Power Floss was put into practice – Dr. McGuire found it was a lot messier than flossing.
"I may make a mess here," said Dr. McGuire. "I think to wash out the looser debris it's working reasonably well."
Next, Dr. McGuire handed the Power Floss over to Sides to try it out.
At first Sides said it appeared to be working. In places where Sides had slightly larger space between teeth, Power Floss was able to flush out debris no problem.
However, in-between her tightly spaced front teeth it didn't seem to have the water pressure to do the job.
There's also a definite splash and drool factor.
"Wear a raincoat, I guess?" joked Dr. McGuire.
Sides also wanted to test out the commercial's claim that you can use your favorite mouthwash with Power Floss.
"That would probably work better than water," said Sides.
But a few squirts of Listerine later, Sides said the mouthwash had the same difficulty getting between her lower front teeth; but her shirt was minty fresh.
"Now I'm sticky," said Sides. "It looks like it works a lot better on TV than it does in person."
One of Dr. McGuire's dental hygienists flossed a few of Sides' lower front teeth the old fashioned way to see if she could tell the difference.
Sides said her front teeth felt much cleaner following the traditional flossing. A last look by Dr. McGuire confirmed what Sides said she already felt.
"I think the area we flossed in definitely looks better, but I can see an improvement in the areas we used the power floss in, but I don't think it can truly take the place of flossing," said Dr. McGuire. "I know flossing is more time consuming, but it really gets in between the teeth better where the water isn't really strong enough to flush out all the plaque. "
Dr. McGuire and Sides give Power Floss 2.5 stars on this Does it Work Test.