Today, we’re reviewing the water flosser, also known as interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet. The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was invented in the early 1960’s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The apparatus is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its conception, numerous other companies have entered the market with similar dental technology products. (Note: Staten Island Dental Care – Dr. Frederick Hecht does not necessarily endorse any particular brand.)
A water irrigation instrument oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out fragments of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you put the tube into your mouth, turn it on, and then lean over the sink with your mouth slightly open to let the water dribble out as you maneuver the stream of shooting water around the gumline, hesitating briefly at each gap between adjoining teeth.
There have been over 65 studies that have verified the safety and effectiveness of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis care.
Should I Use a Water Flosser?
If you don’t floss at all, absolutely. If you have gingivitis, possibly. It may also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have braces.
First, talk to Staten Island dentist Dr. Hecht to obtain an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following conditions may impact whether or not Dr. Hecht guides you to use an interdental irrigation device.
Braces or other orthodontic appliances
A physical disability that decreases ability to brush and/or floss
Gums that bleed when flossing
Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
Aversion to flossing
The comfortable team at Staten Island Dental Care – Dr. Frederick Hecht would love to help you learn the best methods for keeping your gums pink, healthy, and gum disease free and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. To schedule an appointment, call 718-761-5757.
Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS, “Interdental Cleansing,” The American Dental Hygienist Association, https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7123_Waterpik_Irrigation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS, “The Water Flosser: Your Tool For Optimal Oral Health,” https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/pro/education/pdf/Waterpik_WaterFlosser_ContinuingEducation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
“Water Flossing,” MouthHealthy (ADA), http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/water-flossers, accessed March 10, 2017
Contact Staten Island Dental Care – Dr. Frederick Hecht:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):