310499099 © Raul Mellado Ortiz | Dreamstime.com
6610253c7aa6ea001f59c733 Dreamstime Xxl 310499099

Introducing the Slate Electric Flosser: Revolutionizing dental care

April 5, 2024
Flossing doesn’t land high on patients’ list of things they love. But there’s a new flosser, developed by a dentist, that has huge benefits for individuals with dexterity challenges, and that’s just one of its benefits.

You don’t have to be in dentistry to know that people have an aversion to flossing. Surveys have indicated that people prefer tasks such as cleaning a toilet, doing taxes, or even listening to a crying child over flossing. Despite potential reasons such as the perceived labor involved, the unpleasant sensation on fingers, lack of dexterity, the absence of immediate gratification, or the seemingly intangible benefits, it's widely acknowledged that flossing indeed offers significant oral health rewards.

I for one clearly know that oral health is complex and appreciate our industry’s development of a wealth of products to help patients with their oral health plight, including interproximal brushes, stimulators, threaders, floss picks, and water flossers. However, these products appear to lack the level of innovation that one would anticipate in our technology-driven industry. Dental advances come wrapped up in big packages, like AI, 3D scanners, lasers, and cone beam imaging. Granted, trendsetters have utilized technology in power brushes, but flossing is sitting alone in the corner with not much in the revolution department. Until recently. 

The Slate Electric Flosser, developed by a dentist, represents a groundbreaking advancement in oral health technology. Unlike traditional water-based electronic flossing tools that may struggle to access hard-to-reach areas between teeth, this innovative device is specifically designed to effectively remove plaque and debris with ease and precision. This flosser addresses the specific needs of patients, ultimately contributing to better oral health outcomes.

The flosser’s features

The handle of the Slate Electric Flosser boasts a one-piece design, enhancing durability and simplifying maintenance. This design choice also contributes to its ergonomic feel, ensuring users maintain a comfortable grip throughout the flossing process. Additionally, the handle features a contra-angle neck, enriching control and maneuverability for reaching difficult-to-access areas and allowing the proper C shape to fit easily between teeth. The placement of the vibrating motor within the neck maximizes vibration to the floss head, successfully removing plaque and debris. Overall, the handle exemplifies meticulous attention to detail and commitment to quality in its design and development.

The electric flosser merges advanced features for a holistic oral care regimen. Crafted with 450 strands of high-grade floss, free from wax, toxins, and Teflon, it ensures both durability and safety. With a remarkable 12,000 sonic vibrations per minute, the flosser offers unparalleled cleaning power, and with its patented Gum Sweeps that mimic the shape of teeth and gums in the spaces between teeth, it removes the plaque and food particles that normally remain undisturbed after brushing alone.

The floss heads are designed to be multiuse—just rinse and let dry like a toothbrush. As a bonus, the flosser’s pioneering design includes a three-blade tongue scraper on the back of the floss head, providing comprehensive cleaning for a complete oral care experience. 

Benefits for orthodontics

Flossing with braces has never been easier thanks to the Slate Flosser. Specially designed orthodontic floss heads effortlessly glide beneath braces wires and brackets. Equipped with rubber bristles, the flosser gently brushes the sides of the brackets while sliding under the wire. Rubber ribs simultaneously scrub the outward-facing surface of the teeth, all in one smooth motion. This modern design saves significant time compared to traditional flossing methods with a floss threader, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially for teens with braces.

The patented Bracket Sweeps are ingeniously crafted to mimic the shape of brace heads, teeth, and gums. Those strategically placed ribs and bristles effectively sweep away plaque and food particles that often linger after brushing alone. With the Slate Flosser, maintaining oral hygiene with braces becomes simpler and more effective, ensuring optimal dental health throughout orthodontic treatment.

Addressing dexterity challenges

Upon discovering the Slate Flosser, I was captivated by its potential to assist individuals dealing with limitations in manual dexterity, particularly those endeavoring to uphold effective dental hygiene at home. This consideration extends significant importance for patients grappling with obstacles arising from conditions such as arthritis, tremors, or other disabilities. A testament from a Slate customer, a parent of a developmentally disabled daughter, resonated deeply, as they described how their evenings, once fraught with tearful struggles, have transformed since using the flosser. They can now navigate the flossing routine with “minimal difficulty,” achieving a more comprehensive cleaning for their daughter’s teeth.

Caregivers face significant challenges, and as the aging population grows, the demand for a solution is steadily increasing as well. Around 40 million caregivers offer assistance to adults aged 18 and above with disabilities or illnesses, representing approximately 16.6% of the American population.1 This sizable demographic, whether on the receiving or giving end of care, could greatly benefit from additional support, and the Slate Flosser has emerged as a valuable solution.

Arthritis presents a notable test when attempting to floss, stemming from symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Between 2019 and 2021, the National Health Interview Survey revealed a prevalence rate of 47% among adults aged 65 and older having some sort of arthritis.2 Research indicates that by age 85, 40% of adults in the US will experience osteoarthritis in at least one hand, with symptoms often manifesting as early as one’s 40s.3 An adaptive tool like the Slate Flosser creates possibility in retaining good oral health for patients of all ages and needs.

With its ergonomic design, precise control, and innovative features, the flosser sets a new standard for electric flossers, providing users with a superior oral hygiene experience. People are noticing. In April 2023, the Slate Electric Flosser received recognition at the new products showcase in the American Association of Orthodontists 2023 Annual Session.

Whether utilized at home or in a professional dental environment, the Slate Electric Flosser offers a convenient and efficient solution for enhancing oral hygiene practices. With its user-friendly design, this device is accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities, ensuring widespread benefit from its advanced engineering. Slate continues to innovate with upcoming features such as colored floss heads, floss heads coated with nanohydroxyapatite, and a rechargeable option for the unit. The Slate Electric Flosser signifies a notable advancement in oral health care, showcasing the synergy between dental experts and cutting-edge innovation to enhance patient well-being.

Author’s note: To learn more about the Slate Electric Flosser, visit slateflosser.com/.

References

  1. Caregiver statistics: demographics. Family Caregiver Alliance. 2016. https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiver-statistics-demographics/
  2. Fallon EA, Boring MA, Foster AL, et al. Prevalence of diagnosed arthritis — United States, 2019–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72(41):1101-1107. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7241a1
  3. Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis by the numbers: book of trusted facts & figures 2020. https://www.arthritis.org/getmedia/73a9f02d-7f91-4084-91c3-0ed0b11c5814/abtn-2020-final.pdf

Anne O. Rice, BS, RDH, CDP, FAAOSH, founded Oral Systemic Seminars after almost 30 years of clinical practice and is passionate about educating the community on modifiable risk factors for dementia and their relationship to dentistry. Anne is a certified dementia practitioner, a longevity specialist, a fellow with AAOSH, and has consulted for Weill Cornell Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, FAU, and Atria Institute. Reach out to Anne at anneorice.com.