Let’s face it: Most people don’t floss regularly. Why else would things like this
be at all funny?
Yet that simple fact goes a long way toward explaining why periodontal (gum) disease is so rampant. As many as 75% of the adult population has it to some degree. It’s the sixth most prevalent disease in the world. (Other factors include tobacco and other drug use; a carb-rich, sugar-centric diet; chronic stress; insufficient sleep; and physical inactivity.)
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it’s a likely sign that the disease process is well underway. If left unchecked, the final result is deterioration of the supporting jawbone and tooth loss.
The good news? Gum disease is treatable and preventable.
One of the tools Dr. V commonly recommends for achieving both goals is an oral irrigator, which streams water under the gums and into periodontal pockets, where other tools just can’t reach. It can be used in addition to or even instead of conventional floss. Plain water can be used, or you can add peroxide or herbal compounds to further disinfect and promote healing.
All of us here at the office are big fans of these devices.
So even though, as mentioned, we don’t typically review or recommend specific products on this blog, we were glad to accept a sample unit offered to us by a Waterpik rep to try out and write about here – unconditionally.*
And unconditionally, we can tell you that we think the Aquarius Professional Water Flosser they sent us is a dandy little unit. (They also sent us a second unit to offer as a giveaway to one of our readers. But more on that in a minute.)
One thing we like about the Water Flosser is that it’s small, taking up less counter space than other models. It also comes with a variety of tips suited for specific dental situations or general use. For instance, the Pik Pocket Tip is designed to deliver water deep into the pockets that form around the teeth thanks to gum disease, becoming perfect little harbors for pathogens to colonize and multiply: dark, damp, low-oxygen environments. A Plaque Seeker Tip, with its small brushes, is for cleaning around crowns, bridges and other dental work, while an Orthodontic Tip is suited for cleaning brackets. There’s even a Toothbrush Tip.
And yes, we tried them all out, as well as the conventional tips, using both plain water and water spiked with an herbal tonic. We tried different settings, both for flossing and soft tissue massage. Unlike in some older models we’ve used, it seems there’s much more gradual variation between settings, so you can get just the right intensity that’s comfortable for you. (In the case of the Pocket Tip, the lowest setting is always recommended to prevent inadvertent damage to the soft tissues.)
The unit also includes a timer so you’ll know when to switch from one arch to the other, irrigating your mouth for the recommended minute total.
One of the nicest things about this – or any – irrigator is just how thoroughly cleansed your mouth feels afterwards. It may be the closest you can get to that just-done-at-the-dentist feeling at home – especially when used with an herbal medicament like the Dental Herb Company’s Under the Gums Irrigant.
According to Waterpik, the device is up to 50% more effective than traditional dental floss and clinically proven to remove up to 9.9% of plaque from treated areas in 3 seconds. While regular readers know we tend to take industry-sponsored research with many proverbial grains of salt, we also know that, clinically, we see a big difference in the health of tissues of those who routinely use an irrigator compared with those who don’t.
And now, thanks to the good folks at Waterpik, we can give away an Aquarius Professional Water Flosser to one of our readers (an $80 value)!
How to Enter: Between now and March 12, 2015, simply leave a comment below describing how you think a Water Pik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser would help you improve your home dental care. (Note: We hold all comments for moderation, so if you don’t see yours post right away, no worries.) We’ll draw one name at random from all entries. The winner will be contacted by email and announced here on Tuesday, March 16.
* Water Pik provided the product unsolicited “for editorial consideration.” At no time were we told what to say about it. All views expressed here are the collective opinion of Dr. Verigin and his staff.