Waterpiks – are they effective?

 In Dental Hygiene, Dublin Ohio Dentist, Oral Health

Waterpiks – are they effective?

Often times when we ask people if they floss they tell us they are using a waterpik. Is it too good to be true? Is a waterpik really as effective as flossing? We hate to say but it really is too good to be true. However, we aren’t saying they are a total waste. Waterpiks definitely have some benefits.

Who Would Benefit From Waterpiks?

Waterpiks aren’t for everyone. People who will benefit the most from them are those with some type of appliance or prosthetics in their mouth. This includes orthodontics, retainers, and dental bridges. Plaque is sticky, super sticky and forms on the teeth in layers like frosting on a cupcake. This means it takes some type of mechanical means to removing it. We compare spraying off plaque with a waterpik to spraying caramel off of an apple, it’s definitely not going to get it all.

Waterpik Benefits

If someone has orthodontics or braces a waterpik is helpful. This does not mean it replaces flossing though. There are several different tools and aids you can use with braces to help keep the teeth clean. Proxy brushes and floss threaders are crucial to getting in between the teeth with braces and under the wires where your toothbrush can’t reach. A waterpik helps spray off the chunky stuff – whether it be plaque or food. It can also help keep the gums healthy. With a retainer or other types of orthodontic appliances other than braces, it can even be difficult to find a small brush to get into the nooks and crannies around it. A waterpik will come in handy for these cases too. What we don’t want to see and try hard to prevent with those in braces is white spots or “scars” on the teeth. These are areas where plaque sits overtime without being removed and then breaks down the enamel causing demineralization or white spots visible on the teeth. After all of the time and money put into braces, we want to see a straight, bright smile!

Those with dental bridges can also use a waterpik. A bridge is made to replace a missing tooth and usually consists of 3 units. It is not removable but is super important to keep clean because you CAN get a cavity under a bridge. Again, superfloss and floss threaders are important to use as well with a dental bridge. We also understand some people have dexterity issues and by all means a waterpik is more useful than nothing at all. We just want to get the point across that a waterpik does NOT replace flossing and it is still super important to get under the gumline when you floss and use that mechanical means to remove the plaque and bacteria from in between where your toothbrush cannot reach.

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