A water pik, or oral irrigator, is a device that aims a stream of water at your teeth. It can help remove food particles from your teeth and might help reduce bleeding and gum disease as a complement to regular brushing and flossing. Our Excelsior Springs MO orthodontist has all the details!
These devices use a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line. It’s like hosing down your teeth to keep bacteria-attracting food remnants from overstaying their welcome! If you have braces, a water pik can help remove food particles from your mouth that might not be reached as well by brushing or using dental floss. Waterpiks (their brand name) flush food and debris out from between teeth, under braces, under archwires, and especially under and around fixed (non-removable) dental bridges, so they are a great help there.
To operate an oral irrigator, you point the flosser tip between your teeth and along the gum line, moving it along your mouth at the proper angles as you would a toothbrush. It only takes about one minute a day, helping to improve your oral health. There are many models available, ranging from the $35 price range to about $100, and water piks can have cords or be cordless. There are models for kids, as well.
Oral irrigators can serve as a complement to regular flossing, but they are not a substitute for regular use of dental floss. That said, if you have dexterity problems or for whatever reason cannot floss regularly, these devices can come in very handy. One thing you might do is use floss to loosen debris between your teeth before flushing it out with an oral irrigator.
Waterpiks are gentle on the gums and less likely to cause bleeding in people with sensitive gums. They might feel like a more pleasant option for people whose gums have trouble withstanding regular pressure from dental floss. These devices are also sometimes recommended for people with active gum disease, because they flush out bacteria from deep pockets that form when gums pull away from the teeth (areas that can’t be reached by floss and therefore can’t be completely cleaned by brushing).
Our orthodontist in Excelsior Springs would be happy to tell you more and help you find out if a Waterpik might be right for you!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, with a convenient orthodontic office location near Excelsior Springs, by clicking here or by calling 816.759.0123.