Today, we’re reviewing the water flosser, also known as interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet. The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was developed in the early 1960s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The instrument is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its conception, many other companies have entered the market with similar products. (Note: Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS does not necessarily endorse any specific brand.)
A water irrigation tool oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out fragments of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you insert 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 guide the stream of shooting water around the gumline, stopping momentarily at each gap between neighboring teeth.
There have been over 65 studies that have validated the safety and efficacy of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis treatment.
First, speak with Dr. Buchheit to receive an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following elements may impact whether or not Dr. Buchheit counsels you to use an interdental irrigation device.
Braces or other orthodontic appliances
A physical limitation that reduces the ability to brush and/or floss
Gums that bleed when flossing
Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
Aversion to flossing
The friendly team at Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS would love to help you learn the best methods for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. To schedule an appointment, call 314-837-7744
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