As a Jacksonville, Florida dentist, Dr. Shields sees her fair share of patients who don’t like to floss. No matter how much she recommends this daily ritual, no matter how much it will improve oral health, some patients just can’t get with flossing. Well non-flossers, rejoice because the ADA just gave the Waterpik its Seal of Acceptance as an interdental cleaner – and studies have found that it may be more effective than traditional floss.
What Is A Waterpik?
Waterpiks are interdental cleaners that consist of a water receptacle and a wand. These appliances plug into the wall and when turned on expel a concentrated stream of water. Often recommended by orthodontist to remove food particles from braces, this technology now bears the ADA’s Seal Of Acceptance and is the first interdental cleaner of its kind to hold such a distinction.
Waterpiks work by shooting a concentrated stream of water at the areas between the teeth. The wand can be maneuvered to clean the gum line and because of the design of the wand is able to reach the often hard-to-reach back molars. This type of interdental cleaner does not require putting the hands in the mouth and is much easier to handle than traditional floss or even pre-threaded flossers.
Receiving an ADA Seal of Acceptance is no easy feat either. Every product submitted must go through a rigorous approval process that includes accurate and objective data from clinical or laboratory studies that prove its safety and efficiency for the category it is submitted under to the standards of the requirements outlined by the ADA’s Scientific Institute. These results will be reviewed by the Science Institute and Council staff members, and finally will be tested at the ADA’s lab to verify the submitted data.
Five models of the Waterpik were found to reduce plaque, bacteria, and gum inflammation in difficult to clean areas. The ADA said, “By granting the ADA Seal of Acceptance to the Waterpik Water Flosser, consumers for whom these devices are appropriate can be confident that they can be a safe and effective component of their daily oral care when used as directed.”
How do Waterpiks Measure up to Floss?
You don’t have to look far into yourself to realize that flossing isn’t the most exciting part of your dental routine. Many people do not worry about skipping flossing all together. It is cumbersome putting your fingers in your mouth and thoroughly removing plaque and bacteria from in between each and every tooth. For some this is impossible and painful due to arthritis and and other conditions. Even pre-threaded flossers can be difficult to maneuver. Not flossing properly does very little to prevent gum inflammation and periodontal disease. Because of this many people reason that if you can’t do it right, why do it at all?
Waterpiks provide people who have a difficult time flossing a way to remove bacteria and plaque. By streaming a concentrated thread of water between the teeth you can wash away the bacteria and effectively remove the plaque. There is no floss to wrap and no fingers or flossers to maneuver. To add to their recent ADA distinction, the Waterpik was also part of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry that found it was more effective than floss in removing bacteria and plaque along with a regular brushing routine. Researchers studied two groups of people, one using a toothbrush and traditional floss, the other brushing and using a Waterpik. They found that the Waterpik group had bacterial reduction of 74.4 percent after their routine whereas the traditional flossers saw a reduction of 57.7 percent.
If you are one of the many dental patients who hate using dental floss, consider purchasing a Waterpik. Now that this device has been tested and approved by one of the most trusted institutions in dentistry you can use one with confidence that you are removing a substantial amount of plaque and bacteria. Flossing is one of the most important aspects of a beneficial dental routine. Removing bacteria from between your teeth can prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Just because you don’t like to floss, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Look for an alternative and discuss a Waterpik with your Jacksonville, Florida dentist today.