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Week 3- Waterpik or flossing?

Waterpik’s Water Flosser has become popular in recent years because of the ease of use. I think that the company makes great products. They have expertise in irrigation technology and specialize in making home dental care products and shower heads. Waterpik’s home care products expel bacteria and food particles from the gum pockets with pulsating water.

However, I personally do not use any Waterpik products at home because I spend 5-10 minutes flossing every night. Let’s go over pros and cons of each option so that you can make a decision for yourself.

Waterpik Dental Floss
Pros Cons Pros Cons
More user-friendly for people with manual dexterity issues More expensive You can get into tight spots that Waterpik can’t Need to know how to use it properly or it will irritate gums
Gentle It is harder to clean tight spaces between the teeth Cheaper Harder to use for people with manual dexterity issues

Waterpik

PROS
  • More user-friendly for people with manual dexterity issues
  • Gentle
CONS
  • More expensive
  • Harder to clean tight spaces between the teeth

Dental Floss

PROS

  • You can get into tight spots that Waterpik can’t
  • Cheaper

CONS

  • Need to know how to use properly or it will irritate gums
  • Harder to use for people with manual dexterity issues

It is no secret that most people don’t like flossing. I used to find it annoying as well. I cannot stress enough the importance of removing plaque between teeth because that is what usually leads to most dental problems. There are two events that made me become diligent about flossing. The first event was my emergency visit to the dentist while I was in college. I ended up getting a root canal and a crown, and the dentist that treated me told me that I could prevent future problems like this with daily flossing. Several years went by without me following the dentist’s home care instructions and then I got to dental school. One day I had an in-class exercise where each student was to examine his/her own oral hygiene with a pink disclosing tablet. After brushing, one chews a pink disclosing tablet and then rinses to see how much pink dye remains on the teeth. The lack of residual pink dye indicates the lack of plaque.

I had classmates who had no residual pink dye after rinsing their mouths. What happened to me? Everyone could see pink dye all over my teeth. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life! Since that embarrassing experience, I have religiously brushed and flossed my teeth. I have not had any dental problems since then.

Using Waterpik products is certainly better than not using any interproximal (in-between) cleaners. I highly recommend those products to geriatric patients who may have difficulty flossing due to reduced manual dexterity. Flossing, though, is what I recommend to most people. One thing to note is that It has to be done right. I will soon post a video on how to floss correctly, but please refer to the video below for now:

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