A great tool for tooth maintenance is the water flosser, also known as a water jet. Historically, the first water-blasting device for cleaning between teeth was created roughly 60 years ago by dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and engineer John Mattingly. The device is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its origin, several other companies have entered the market with similar products. (Note: Black & Bass Cosmetic and Family Dentistry does not necessarily endorse any specific brand.)
A water irrigation tool oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out particles of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you put the tube into your mouth, turn it on, and then lean over the sink with your mouth slightly open to let the water dribble out as you move the stream of shooting water around the gumline, pausing momentarily at each gap between neighboring teeth.
There have been over 65 studies that have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis treatment.
Should I Use a Water Flosser?
If you don’t floss at all, absolutely. If you have gum disease, perhaps. It may also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have orthodontia.
First, meet with Dr. Lawrence Black to receive an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following circumstances may affect whether or not Dr. Lawrence Black counsels you to use an interdental irrigation device:
Braces or other orthodontic appliances
A physical impairment that decreases ability to brush and/or floss
Gums that bleed when flossing
Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
Aversion to flossing
The calm and comfortable team at Black & Bass Cosmetic and Family Dentistry would love to help you learn the best-suited processes for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. To schedule an appointment, call 215-368-1424.
Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS, “Interdental Cleansing,” The American Dental Hygienist Association, https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7123_Waterpik_Irrigation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS, “The Water Flosser: Your Tool For Optimal Oral Health,” https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/pro/education/pdf/Waterpik_WaterFlosser_ContinuingEducation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
“Water Flossing,” MouthHealthy (ADA), http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/water-flossers, accessed March 10, 2017
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