The Woes of a Dental Hygienist -and my thoughts on Waterpik

December 21, 2011

Being a Dental Hygienist, I am well aware of most of the dental products available.  I usually CRINGE when I’m in the dental care isle and see people looking at some of the stuff that I’m not exactly fond of… like Plax brand mouthwash. Seriously guys. Clinically Proven to be as effective as water.  Awesome!*sarcasm*

I always battle back and forth with the thoughts of approaching them and giving them a personal consultation…. But I don’t.  Usually…

The other day, I saw a guy in the store comparing an off-brand water flosser that was $40 on sale, and a $60 Waterpik.  I could tell that he was really trying to figure out why there was such a difference in price.

I couldn’t help myself. I *had* to say something.  I mean.. Sure, the cheap water flosser might feel like it’s working – but has it been through series of clinical studies to prove it’s effectiveness?  Probably not.

Waterpik Water Flossers are the only brand clinically proven to be an effective alternative to traditional floss for removing plaque biofilm and reducing gum bleeding and inflammation.

I told him that he should probably stick with the real deal, even given the price difference.  I also mentioned that I have that same Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser at home and love it – but not to be too grossed out with the stuff he sees falling out of his mouth into the sink.  I also mentioned that the Waterpik will most likely make his hygienist much happier than the sale priced off-brand – and very quickly and quietly told him that I was a dental hygienist.

My Recurring Nightmare

So… I usually have a hard time walking those isles because I really have a hard time keeping my mouth shut.  And I have this recurring nightmare about approaching people..

I’m terrified that if I speak up, I’ll be stuck in the dental care isle all day long answering questions… I envision the groups swarming me muttering to each other that there’s a LIVE dental hygienist in the store and she’s answering questions, for free!

Back to the Waterpik

Really guys- you can’t get much better than a Waterpik. I mean. *SOME* people have the physical capabilities and the persistence with floss to actually remove most of the debris from the pockets in their gums (without destroying them)… but most people just go in – and out.

With a Waterpik, you *know* that you’re getting the best results – because you can see the crap coming out of your teeth!  I’ve even done this after brushing and flossing, and still see stuff falling into the sink. It’s gross – but cool too.

My personal thoughts as a dental hygienist
        Regular floss is capable of going approximately 3 millimeters (mm) deep into your gums.  That’s great if every single one of your pockets is 3mm or less.  But.  Most healthy adult’s pockets range from 2-5mm (and up!).  The Waterpik Water Flosser has been proven to get as much as 6mm deep below the gums.

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Can’t get much better than that!  I recommend the Waterpik to most all of my patients as well! Open-mouthed smile

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I also recommend this Waterpik Shower Head to anyone and everyone who’s looking for a new shower head – *and* to all breastfeeding moms with sore chests!

Comments

  1. The flosser looks great- but that showerhead is calling my name. We have needed a new one for forever, I had no idea (till now) they made showerheads!

  2. All I can think about now is stuff falling out of my mouth. LOL I’m gonna have to get one of these. Thanks for the information.

  3. Well, you sold me! :) I’ve always wanted a Waterpik myself. And I LOVE Waterpik Shower Heads.. I’ve always bought those!

  4. I really need one!

  5. I have the Waterpik, too, and love it! I always feel super clean when I’m done with it! :)

  6. Ok I’m sold… I need it! and I’m already grossed just thinking of the ickies falling off my mouth… Oh God!

  7. I wish I had known you years ago. I’m beyond needing this but I sure could have then, I was so terrible about flossing.

    • Most are super terrible about flossing – Even the regular flossers are not as good as they might think they are… Because even the regular floss is only going to go SO far under the gums.
      Sorry about your dental woes :( Glad you’re working towards it now though! Feel free to ask me any questions! I don’t mind!

  8. Waterpik Fan says:

    I struggled with flossing my whole life until I got a Waterpik Flosser, and now I floss every day with pride.

  9. Rick Winquest says:

    I’ve been using a waterpik for just over a month and will never go back to flossing due to how great my mouth feels over flossing.

  10. Marielaina Perrone DDS says:

    Waterpik is a tremendous tool for patients at home care especially for those with limited dexterity. I would also add looking into Periogen. It is a tartar dissolving oral rinse to use between professional cleanings.

    Marielaina Perrone DDS

  11. After a Waterpic flosser is several years old, is there ever a problem with mold collecting in the tubing?

    • I think there are several recommendations out there about cleaning out or replacing the tubing. I would highly recommend looking into that! :D

  12. I have been using my Sonicare for years now and I just love it. Also, I have been flossing to have most of the tart removed and I noticed the Waterpik flosser at the store which I was unaware of and bought one. Does anyone knows if athe cordless water flosser from Waterpik is effective as the non cordless? Help!

    • I am guessing that it is as effective. The only thing is that you’ll have to stop and re-fill it a few times – but you don’t have to deal with cords :)

  13. I love my waterpik!!!! I have recommended it to my patients as well and they have grown to love it too. It definitely beats flossing with regular floss.

  14. Robin Wilson says:

    I know this is an older post, but wanted to read it because I am concerned about my 23 year old son! He used to have such great oral hygiene routine. But he has slacked off so much that it is making me crazy! I don’t know why, perhaps he is going through a “lazy” phase. But maybe this Waterpik would be something he would use. It would surely help some! Thanks for such an in-depth review!

  15. Sherri Lewis says:

    Maybe I should look into this…. because I am probably the world’s worst about flossing. Now…. you should do a post on manual versus electric toothbrushes :)

  16. Carole Ingram says:

    Thank you for this post, it’s got load of good information! We always get cavities because of our poor flossing habits, this might be a life saver for us. I’m going to investigate further….

  17. I have used a WaterPik for years but have struggled with mold. I thought I was cleaning it but today took the handle apart. It was incrusted with black mold. It will have to be trashed because I shall not go back to that health hazard. Please advise. Lynn

  18. I used a Waterpik as a kid in the 70′s, when I wore braces. I didn’t know they still made them until my 13 y.o. daughters hygienist mentioned it on her last visit. Thanks for great review. I will be getting one! Kids flossing…yeah right! I wish someone would have mentioned it to us earlier at the dentist’s office.

  19. A Waterpik Convert says:

    I used to floss and use a Sonicare regularly, and I still got lousy checkups. My hygienist would say, “You know, you really should floss!” I’d scream, “BUT I DO!!!” It drove me crazy. It wasn’t until I added a Waterpik to the mix that I finally started to show improvement. It really does get out a lot of the food particles that both flossing and a Sonicare will miss. It’s amazing to brush and floss thoroughly and think you are clean, then fire up the Waterpik and really see how much junk was still hiding in there.

    If only I started my Waterpik routine when I was younger. My family had one but we mostly thought of it as a novelty. Like many adults, I have deep pockets in my gums and have to try extra hard to not let things get any worse. My routine at night is now:

    1. Waterpik
    2. Floss
    3. Waterpik again
    4. Sonicare
    5. Waterpik again (usually with some Listerine thrown into the tank)

    My wife thinks I’m nuts but I was getting desperate. Hopefully I’m not overdoing things. I try not to rip up my gums.

    I’ve shared my story with several dentists and hygienists, telling them that I never started getting good checkups at dentist until I started using a Waterpik. I’ve been surprised how many have poo poo’d the Waterpik. One told me, “That’s just an irrigator.”

    Whatever. I believe that all one needs to be a convert is to see all of the junk that comes out of your mouth. If it takes “just an irrigator” to do that, then I guess I need an irrigator.

    My only negative issue with Waterpiks is the mold. That stuff builds up in all of the nooks and crannies in the appliance. I wish the handle and other parts could be more easily taken apart so that I could thoroughly clean it.

  20. This morning as I was using my water pik to clean my teeth, I realized that I have had and used this appliance for 37 years.
    my parents bought it for me when I was 11 and had braces put on my teeth. I have thought of replacing it, but it is still going strong.
    I wonder if the newer ones are as well made. I would never go with a cheaper model because I doubt it would be as reliable. It still
    Takes any gunk out of my teeth. I notice it runs a little slow once in awhile now and takes a minute to pull itself together. I might
    actually be wearing poor old pik out. I clean it occasionally with bleach and haven’t had a big problem with mold.

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