Maintaining good oral health as prevention of other diseases has been recognised for some time. A clean, healthy mouth is extremely important to maintaining good general health. Many diseases have been linked to poor dental health – for example, gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, resulting in a shortened life expectancy. (Bleeding gums, known as gingivitis, can indicate that bacteria from early stage plaque is entering the bloodstream which is a pathway for cardiovascular disease.) Early stage plaque (biofilm) is a sticky multi-layered film that houses bacteria. Biofilm hardens over 72 hours to become plaque so disturbing this process by flossing within the 72 hours stops this formation. Flossing once a day will disturb the formation three times in this critical period. It is essential to break through plaque’s protective outer layer and currently this can only be done mechanically: you will be familiar with your dentist scraping away at hard plaque on your teeth during routine check-ups. Carried out regularly, this keeps a handle on plaque build-up. However, it is not enough as plaque needs to be kept at bay before it gets to this stage to prevent gingivitis. Brushing alone will not remove biofilm as it only cleans two-thirds of the surface of your teeth. Flossing removes both trapped food and stops plaque forming between the teeth. It is more important to floss than to brush your teeth.
Why do so few people floss ?
People can generally be divided into two groups: those who reluctantly floss; and those who feel guilty about not flossing. Flossing after brushing is very important for good oral health. However, despite health warnings, only a small portion of the population – estimated at less than 20% – carry out flossing regularly because it is difficult, fiddly and time-consuming. Men with large hands and those with limited hand dexterity find flossing particularly challenging. To overcome this reluctance to floss by making flossing easier with The Piccolo should increase the number of people who take up flossing regularly.
How can the Piccolo help ?
The Piccolo is a fully automated interdental cleaning unit that is quick and easy to use and, like an electric toothbrush, requires no particular hand dexterity or skill. It should be used in place of or if necessary, in conjunction with, the various interdental cleaning methods available. The Piccolo is suitable for everyone and in particular those with bridgework, braces or other hard-to-access oral situations, as well as for those with poor hand dexterity.
Who can use the Piccolo ?
The Piccolo is suitable for everyone and in particular, people with bridgework, braces or other hard-to-access oral situations, as well as for those with poor hand dexterity. A smaller model is being developed more suitable for children.
How do I insert a battery into the Piccolo ?
Hold the body in one hand. Unscrew the end cap from the base and insert a 1.5v AA battery, positive end first, into the body. Screw the end cap back into place. [NOTE: When the unit starts to run slowly, after a month or two, it is time to replace the battery.]
How do I attach a Tip to the Piccolo ?
Take the tip between your fingers and insert into the head of the body. Turn clockwise a half turn until it is firmly in place. If you have already inserted the battery (see above) The Piccolo is now ready to improve your dental health.
How do I use the Piccolo ?
Clean your teeth as you normally do with your regular toothbrush, You are now ready to use The Piccolo to clean the interdental spaces between your teeth. Holding The Piccolo in the palm of your hand, wrap your fingers completely around the body. Lightly place the tip at the gap between two teeth at the gumline. Now slowly squeeze the body. This operation both switches on the unit as well as advances the filament. The harder you squeeze the more the filament advances. The filament will self-thread gently into the gap between your teeth. Allow the filament to thread in as far as it can, then continue squeezing the body whilst pulling the filament out and simultaneously swiping upwards between the teeth towards the top of the teeth. This will clean far more of the tooth surface than just the interdental gap. Relax your grip around the body to stop the action of the filament. This single operation of squeezing and releasing the body gives you complete control of the filament. Move the tip to the next interdental gap and repeat the procedure. There is no need to clean for longer than one second for each insertion between two teeth as the unit does a lot of work in this one second. Flossing is now very quick, very easy and above all, gentle. During this process, pause occasionally to advance the filament and rinse it under a fast flowing tap to remove debris. The filament will enter large interdental gaps easily. Small interdental gaps between tight teeth will be cleaned even though the filament will appear not to enter fully. The filament is designed to be small enough to clean under most conditions. You can feel the filament entering through the interdental gap with your tongue. It is ideal to clean both sides (cheek side and tongue side) of your teeth on alternate days to achieve a complete cleaning, particularly with tight teeth. You will find after a while you will be able to do the inside of the teeth easily; it is a skill you pick up over time. After flossing with The Piccolo rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to fully remove any remaining food debris. Cleaning interdental gaps regularly will allow saliva to penetrate between your teeth to both help prevent tooth decay and gum disease as well as re-calcify the teeth.
The device does not start - what do I do ?
Check the battery does not need replacing and that the battery is inserted correctly i.e. positive end first. If the filament does not rotate prior to flossing, remove and reinsert the tip, or replace the tip completely with a new one.
Will the filament get stuck between my teeth ?
It is impossible for the filament to get stuck between your teeth. Simply pulling the filament out will stretch the filament, reducing its diameter slightly, thus releasing it from any tight gap.
The filament stopped rotating during operation - what now ?
For safety reasons the filament is designed to stop rotating immediately it enters too small a space. It will never jam firmly. Simply loosen your grip on the body, remove the handpiece away from your mouth and the filament will gently pull itself out from between your teeth. The filament is designed to release under any circumstances. If it becomes clogged with debris, simply rinse the tip under a fast running tap with the filament advanced.
How do I clean the Piccolo after use ?
When you have finished cleaning between all your teeth, with the unit still running, advance the filament and whilst it is rotating rinse it under the hot tap. If you so wish, you can then remove the tip completely from the handpiece by a half turn anti-clockwise and place the tip in a sterilising solution before the next use. The tips can be used multiple times but for hygienic reasons we recommend changing the tip at least once a week. The handpiece just needs a quick rinse under the tap after each use then store it upright, standing on its base.
Where can I buy the Piccolo and replacement tips ?
You can buy The Piccolo and replacement tips direct from our website. The initial purchase comes with twelve tips, enough for three months use. Ongoing replacement tips can be ordered via our website. The Piccolo has a 12 month replacement guarantee against faulty manufacture and is assembled in Australia.