By Claire Reilly

Philips was all bright smiles this morning at the launch of the Sonicare AirFloss – a new electronic device designed to make it easier to clean between the teeth.

The launch was hosted by media personality Jessica Rowe who emceed a panel discussion between Dr David Dunn, principal dentist at the Macquarie Street Centre, Dr Ron Kanevel, dental hygienist and lecturer at La Trobe University, and the marketing manager for Philips Oral Care, Simon Keenan.

Following a brief presentation from Keenan on the history of the toothbrush (did you know that our cave-bound forebears used twigs, feathers and leaves?) Dr Dunn and Dr Knevel spoke to the gathered audience about dental hygiene, the benefits of regular brushing and the importance of what they termed “interdental cleaning”.

While Knevel conceded that it was often difficult to get Australians to visit the dentist, it was important to do so, especially from a young age.

“Prevention is not an unpleasant experience,” he said. “It doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it does save a lot of money.”

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While there was plenty of talk about periodontal disease and removing bacteria and biofilm from the surface of teeth, it wasn’t all grim. The dentists were also on hand to spruik the benefits of Sonicare’s range of products.

“The take-home message is that if you’re not cleaning between your teeth, you’re missing 20 per cent of the surface of your teeth,” said Dunn. “Tools such as the AirFlos enable us to do this quickly and easily.”

The AirFloss is designed to clean plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, in much the same way as dental floss does. But rather than pulling tape and string between the teeth and potentially damaging the gums, consumers simply press a button on the AirFloss to shoot a jet of water and air between the teeth to clean.

According to Keenan, it’s a way of flossing without floss. With as many as 60 per cent of Australians flossing very infrequently or not at all, it made sense for Philips to release a product that would take the hard work out of the this dental hygiene regimen.

“It’s a little device that is simple to use and that will get between the teeth and gums,” said Keenan. “That’s how the AirFloss was born.

“The Sonicare AirFloss has been developed to improve oral health by offering people an easy-to-use device that they use every day and will complement the existing Philips range of Sonicare power toothbrushes.”

Jessica Rowe hosts a panel discussion with (left to right): Simon Keenan, marketing manager for Philips Oral Care; Dr David Dunn, principal dentist at the Macquarie Street Centre and Dr Ron Kanevel, dental hygienist and lecturer at La Trobe University.

The Sonicare AirFloss (HX8111) is available now for RRP $169.95.