Lora Cook RDH
A question I am often asked of my patients is, “what do you think about a waterpik?” Waterpiks are great, but they DO NOT replace flossing with string floss. Once a person hears that they still have to floss, a look of discouragement or disgust comes across their face. However, before you completely write off the thought of investing time and money into to a water pick, let me give you some information.
Waterpiks force oxygenated water underneath the gum tissue where plaque and bacteria like to hide. This bacteria that lives under the tissue is anaerobic, it thrives under the gum tissue in that non-oxygenated environment. The oxygenated water works to not only flush out plaque and food, but also kills bacteria. Also adding a few ounces of a quality, over the counter mouth rinse\antiseptic to the water reservoir is effective in reducing the bacterial load in the mouth.
Who can benefit the most from the adding a waterpik to their daily oral hygiene routine? I recommend water picks to patients who have bridges, implants, braces, or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. The waterpik can reach places that string floss can miss. Studies show that it is 50% more effective then just dental floss alone. With a 3 second application it is 99.9% effective in the removal of plaque.
Some patients ask if waterpiks are so effective, why do I still need to use my string floss? The string floss will scrap and mechanically remove the sticky plaque that likes to stick to the tooth surface. A waterpik will just rinse it.
There are different types of waterpiks out on the market. A counter top water pik with a seperate resevoir and a cordless waterpik. The cordless waterpic is rechargeable, no batteries needed. The water reservoir will hold 45 seconds of water supply. All waterpics have different pressure settings, the water pressure will be 45 to 75 psi.
Another type of waterpik is called shower floss. Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available. This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a continues flow of water without having to stop and refill. With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!
Another type of waterpik is a shower floss. Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available. This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a continues flow of water without having to stop and refill. With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!
From what source/study are you getting your facts ? I am not challenging you I am just curious as I have been seeing a periodontist for some time and he told me if I used a Showerfloss DAILY that I would not have to floss. I have been doing this for several years now and my gums seem to be healthy per my periodontist and hygienist at my family dentist.
Thanks for asking such a great question. At our practices we have seen success with flossing and the use of a water pik or shower flosser. We base our blog posts on clinical experience and peer reviewed articles found on reliable medical data bases with proper clincial trials. An article on PubMed that was based on a randomized clinical trial stated that the shower flosser is a useful adjunct for cleaning. However, other studies have shown that the shower flosser has a significant reduction in plaque without the use of floss. As it is difficult to know the current condition of your mouth as you are not one of our patients. I would trust your periodontist and dental hygienist. If you have any more questions let us know.
-Dentistry Done Differently