Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Flossing VS. The Waterpik

This month’s topic comes to us via the dental hygiene department. Hygienists are often asked by patients if they have to floss if they use a waterpik daily. The answer came plain and simple. YES! 

Standard floss is the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between your teeth. By scraping the floss up and down the sides of your teeth, food particles and sticky plaque caused by bacteria is removed, thus preventing a build up of calculus. Brushing alone is not sufficient enough to remove the plaque from in between your teeth. 

The Waterpik is a very popular oral irrigator that works by allowing the user to direct a stream of water or irrigating solution in between the tight spaces of your teeth. It is a very useful aid in keeping the gums and teeth healthy by rinsing out food and bacteria from between the teeth and increasing the oxygen concentration making it harder for destructive bacteria to grow. It is NOT a replacement for flossing, but a good addition to your oral care regimen.

Now don’t get me wrong, a waterpik has its absolute advantages. Dentists and Hygienists are known to recommended the use of a waterpik to patients who are are periodontally compromised, have crown and bridge work, braces and those with various maladies that are known to increase chances of gum disease.

For those of you who aren’t so forthright with your flossing, don’t ditch your pik…Waterpik that is. Daily use of your Waterpik is definitely encouraged and better than not flossing at all. As my hygienist, Autumn Heller, RDH told me, “ Brush first, floss second. Waterpiks help, but NOTHING replaces flossing!”

Original Post from our July 2009 Newsletter

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