By Shelly Fesler, RDH, BSDH
The Waterpik flosser made by Teledyne Waterpik is a very popular and effective alternative to flossing the old fashioned way and is clearly superior in these scenarios.
WaterPik is not the only choice.
Compare cost and features before you buy.
Some studies show these oral irrigators work better than dental floss.
I like and recommend this product because I have seen it dramatically improve the periodontal health of my clients when used properly.
Oral irrigators are ideal for removing dental plaque or biofilm, food, and even stains from areas that are hard to clean.
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Do you Hate to floss?
Flossing is messy and can be painful to your gums and hurt your fingers.
Good flossing technique takes a lot of practice and patience. Dental floss has the steepest learning curve of all the dental care products.
Do you have dental work that is difficult to clean?
Braces, permanent retainers, dental crowns or bridges, and implants are all difficult to floss.
Although the learning curve for this product is much easier and shorter than that of dental floss, it's still important to read and follow directions and use correct technique.
The tip should be placed at a 90 degree angle before turning the unit on:)
As you might imagine, it is more difficult once you have a mouth full of pulsing water.
When is WaterPik the best choice?
Here are some dental scenarios that would benefit from the use of a Waterpik ultra dental water jet. WaterPik Flosser would be easier and more effective than flossing if you have:
Implants ~ Dental Implants are the latest and greatest way to replace a missing tooth. They can replace a single tooth or be part or a bridge that replaces several teeth. Implants are quite successfully used to add stability to dentures. But, their size and shape make them difficult to floss.
Braces ~ Dental braces have to be the most challenging of all to floss! It requires threading the floss under the wire and is frustrating and tedious.
Crowns ~ Crowns are a great way to restore a broken tooth, strengthen a tooth that is cracked or has become brittle from a very large filling or root canal. Because they have a margin or ridge where the crown meets tooth, crowns can be more difficult to clean. Some margins are so smooth flossing is no problem others are more difficult.
Bridges ~ A bridge is one way of replacing one or more teeth. Bridges have anchor teeth with replacement teeth and are fused together. Like braces, they are impossible to floss without threading floss under the fused portion. Threading is tedious and often difficult.
Receding Gums ~ When gums recede the roots of the teeth are exposed. Because roots surfaces are not as hard as enamel they are more vulnerable to abrasive toothpaste and brushing too hard. They are also more susceptible to tooth decay making thorough but gentle plaque removal even more important.
Gum Disease ~ Gingivitis and more advanced periodontal disease require time, effort and possibly treatment to reverse. Any product that gently keeps plaque away from your gums will make them healthier. Some periodontal pockets are too deep for floss to reach and could be maintained with a WaterPik.
This product has been around for a long time and has survived the test of time and the scrutiny of dental professionals.
I have seen amazing results in those who use this irrigator on a regular basis....gum pockets reduced and overall periodontal health improved.
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