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Review of the Platypus Flosser

Does the Platypus Flosser Really Work?

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Updated June 06, 2009

Review of the Platypus Flosser
Photo Courtesy of PlatypusCo

About the Platypus Flosser

The Platypus Flosser was co-invented by Laura Morgan, a pediatric dental hygienist and Fred Van de Perre, a parent of a child in braces. The Platypus Flosser is manufactured in the United States by Paradise Dental Technologies and is available for purchase online, through select pharmacies across the United States and Canada, and from orthodontists that carry the flosser in-office.

Flossing With Braces - Not a Big Deal, Right?

The Platypus Flosser was designed to aide orthodontic patients when flossing their teeth. If you did not have the pleasure of trying to floss with braces either back-in-the-day as a child or now as an adult, there is simply no debate: Adding brackets and bands to almost every tooth in the mouth makes an already challenging task goes from bad to worse.

It is difficult to maneuver the floss underneath the archwires that have been so carefully placed to prefect your smile. Most flossing aides for patients wearing braces require you to thread the floss underneath the archwire, repeating this step between each tooth -- a task that even a skilled flosser will admit becomes increasingly frustrating. As a former orthodontic dental assistant, I encountered many patients that simply gave-up on flossing due to the difficulty level and the overall time commitment. My oral hygiene instruction for new orthodontic patients would include a mini sewing lesson, to ensure our patients continued with the vital task of flossing during their treatment.

Because of the archwires, brackets, and bands, brushing and flossing during orthodontic treatment becomes the patients first priority to avoid plaque and food build-up on the teeth and attachments in order to to prevent tooth decay.

Does the Platypus Flosser effectively and conveniently assist orthodontic patients with their flossing?

What is a Platypus Flosser?

Photo Courtesy of PlatypusCo

Have you ever had one of those "I wish I thought of that" moments? When I saw the Platypus Flosser for the first time, I couldn't help but wonder why I didn't come up with the idea myself. Similar flossing aides are on the market designed to help make flossing easier. But due to their design, orthodontic patients are unable to use them as they do not fit underneath the archwire.

The Platypus flosser is small in size with a nice wide handle, a fantastic feature that allows clumsy hands or large fingers to easily grasp on and to floss in those notorious hard to reach areas. Speaking of hard to reach areas, the actual flossing end of the Platypus is angled slightly to allow for the easy insertion between the molars and premolars. The tip of the Platypus was designed to act as a bracket brush -- kind of like a tooth pick for braces -- to remove food and plaque from around the attachments on the brackets and bands.

Using the Platypus Flosser

In order to provide you with an honest review, and because I am not currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, I tried the Platypus Flosser out on my nephew. He has been wearing braces for less than a year and like most 10 year olds, flossing, especially with braces, is not typically a priority and lets face it what 10 year old wants to spend more than 30 seconds brushing and flossing their teeth?

I assume the Platypus obtained its name because the spatula end of the flosser looks similar to that of a platypus bill. This spatula end is the golden ticket when it comes down to this product actually living up to its promise. You simply slide the spatula end underneath the archwire and press it against your teeth to cause the floss to become taut. And that's it -- the flosser has made it easily under the archwire for you to begin flossing your teeth. After maneuvering the floss between his front teeth I was able to remove the flosser to continue flossing each section of his teeth.

I am fairly skilled when it comes to using my manual dexterity; after 10 years of passing and holding delicate dental instruments, obviously using the flosser was simple for me. I had my nephew use the flosser unassisted and sure enough, he was able to floss his teeth simply and without looking in a mirror.

The Final Verdict

Should you try the Platypus Flosser? The answer to this is simply definitely try it, this product really works. I highly recommend the Platypus Flosser for use by anyone wearing braces. Next to brushing, flossing your teeth follows closely behind as an integral part of an orthodontic patients oral hygiene routine. Using the Platypus will help shorten the time you spend flossing and eliminate the frustration common with traditional flossing aides for braces.

The Platypus Flosser retails on their website for $16.95 for a bag of 25 flossers, slightly expensive considering dental floss and floss threaders are usually free from your dentist or orthodontist. As far as the actual flosser is concerned, the fact that there is maybe half an inch of floss that is intended to be used throughout the mouth may cause some problems. Traditional flossing requires a recommended 18 inches of floss in order to supply a clean and strong section for use between the teeth. I suppose you could rinse the flosser after each pass through the teeth, but water consumption then becomes an issue. And because you are using the same piece of floss, areas that are harder to floss or teeth with tight contacts may weaken and break the floss, making the flosser useless. Patients may find they are using two to three flossers per flossing session; adding to the overall monthly cost to purchase the Platypus Flosser.

My final opinion: Definitely try the Platypus flosser for yourself, the convenience of the product and the overall plaque removal may outweigh the cost of using the Platypus Flosser.

User Reviews

 4 out of 5
great for braces.. way too expensive!, Member pzazz01

great product for braces way too expensive.. sometimes i need 2 cause they break easaly depending on your hardware.. I like this product but it should be more reasonable!

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