As a dental hygienist striving to help patients achieve optimum oral health, I read many dental journals in search of ways and products that encourage patients in their home care regimen. I have long been an advocate of the Water Flosser, more commonly known as the Waterpik, as I have seen great improvements in my patients’ oral health especially those who have braces or gum disease.
Recently, I was reading one such journal, RDH magazine, and came across an article that caught my attention called A Top 10 List For Water Flossing, written by Carol Jahn, RDH,MS. I couldn’t agree more.
The Water Flosser…
10. Reduces gum infection(periodontal disease)
The water pressure pulsations of the Water Flosser remove bacteria from deep under the gums(pockets). Compared to toothbrushing and mouth rinses, only the Water Flosser reduced harmful bacteria under the gums.
9. Reduces inflammation
Studies show patients who use the Water Flosser daily reduce bleeding gums and gingivitis(swollen, infected gums), a sign of early periodontal disease, more than patients who don’t water floss.
8. Helps patients with diabetes
Since patients with diabetes are at a high risk for gum disease, reducing harmful bacteria and inflammation by water flossing is an added benefit.
7. Safe for implants
Water Flossing reduces plaque, bleeding, and inflammation necessary for long-term implant success.
6. Helps clean around braces
Keeping teeth clean when patients have braces is a challenge. It is much more difficult to remove food particles with just toothbrushing, and most patients will not use string floss since it is an additional challenge to get the floss under the wires. Water flossing easily removes plaque and food particles hiding around braces.
5. Reaches deeper under the gums than string floss
String floss reaches about 3 to 4 mm under the gumline while water flossing reaches much further in deep under the gum pockets benefiting those who have periodontal disease.
4. Removes plaque
Water flossing results in high plaque reduction compared to brushing alone.
3. Easy to use
For many patients, using the Water Flosser is easier than using string floss. Getting string floss between the back teeth can be difficult for those with large fingers, small mouths, or weak manual dexterity.
2. Alternative to string floss
Studies show water flossing can be up to 93% more effective than string floss at reducing gum inflammation(gingivitis).
1. Based on evidence
The Water Flosser, commonly called the waterpik, was introduced in 1962. More than 20 clinical trials have shown its effectiveness. The American Academy of Periodontology reviewed the Water Flosser, noting the greatest benefit “is seen in patients who perform inadequate interproximal cleansing,” meaning inadequate between teeth cleaning.
An added benefit is the ease of use in cleaning around bridges and crowns.
This summary should help you understand more about the benefits of using the Water Flosser and why your dental hygienist may recommend it to you. For your convenience, we have the Water Flosser available for purchase.
Susan Divine, RDH