SEE THE VLOG HERE: https://dmd.center/project/alternative-preventive-method-video-version
Watch more in-depth discussion on Oral Irrigator from the owner of one of the leading manufacturer from South Korea and more new gadgets that you can recommend to your patients. Download as well a special gift on the URL above from its distributor here in the Philippines.
ADVICE YOUR PATIENT: Wash Your Plaque Away
We often hear the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, but, like most wise words, rarely, people do take a heed and practice its advice especially when it comes to health. As dental practitioners, it is our solemn duty to make our patients truly understand what this means and to practice it in their daily lives. I know we all earn more from our patients not following this simple but smart advice, but, isn’t it worthy of us to still encourage them to do the proper thing as their primary oral care provider? Doesn’t this attitude gives more weight and meaning to our title as a doctor when we do right by our patients?
So, if you care for your patients, your patients should know from you their options to achieve good oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene sounds so easy to do but it is not so to a lot of people. Why? Everyone wants it quick, easy, low price and effective. That’s the world we live in, thus, manufacturers try to cater to this demand and it is not going to be hard for us to provide choices to our patients in order for them to achieve good oral hygiene. One of the innovative ways of achieving effective oral care is this gadget called “Oral Irrigators” or also know as dental water jet, dental water toothpick, and water flosser. And, do you know this dental gadget like motorised tooth brush, requires less hand strength and manual dexterity in comparison to string flossing? It’s actually ideal for patients who have arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, loss of hand coordination and other similar conditions. Interested to know more about it? Let’s delve into it.
What’s an Oral Irrigator?
It is a home dental device that provides a high-pressure pulsating stream of water through a specialized tip and into the mouth intended to remove plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line.
They all have a reservoir that holds the water and an electric motor to provide power to give forceful release of water
Is It Effective and Safe?
Yes, this dental gadget has been around since 1962 when it was developed by a dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and engineered by John Mattingly. There are a lot of studies done on its effectivity but the best of its achievement is to address more of the gingival health that’s likely not done by just simple brushing of the teeth.
What are the types of Oral Irrigators?
1. Countertop Oral Irrigators
This type is plug into an electrical outlet and as the name goes, it can be place in your bathroom counter. Generally, they have quite a large water reservoir. Majority have a range of pressure settings, and some have flow control for the stream of water.
For home use, it’s ideal for family or group use. For our practice, it can be used as a way of cleansing the field area we are treating during surgery, periodontal treatments and oral prophylaxis. It is an effective alternative to introduce saline solution or distilled water in certain dental procedures where clean water rather than tap water is critical to use.
2. Portable Oral Irrigators
This type is powered by batteries, whether rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries. For rechargeable ones, they have a small base for recharging between cleaning sessions. Their water reservoir are smaller, may not have a lot of pressure settings and may have lesser power produced in comparison to countertop oral irrigators.
For home use, although, it can be used by a family or group, but, it is ideal for just 1 or 2 people. They are also handy for travel and in bathrooms that may have not have much space. It is also cheaper in price than countertops. For our practice, this is best to recommend and sell to our patients.
What are its Features and Benefits?
1. Water Reservoir
You have to know reservoir size you need. As we all know the ideal flossing time is at least 1 minute, so,
for a thorough job, you generally need at least 45 seconds of waterpower. A larger reservoir means the longer the cleaning time before running out of water.
2. Manageable Water Flow Control
This allows the user to slow or stop the flow of water while adjusting the oral irrigator’s tip in your mouth.
3. Choice of Settings
Most of the water flossers have this water pulse or gum massage mode wherein the water flows that effectively stimulates gum tissue and promotes gum health.
4. Adjustable Pressure
Often times there’s a concern from some dental professionals that oral irrigators may result to more trauma after surgery thus slows down healing process. This actually a misnomer because all current oral irrigators offers adjustable pressure. With proper instructions to our patients on what pressure to use and when best to use after our specified treatment will actually even stimulate faster healing of the soft tissues.
Generally, there’s a sound, pause, or vibration that prompts the user to move to the next section of his/her mouth, and signals when the recommended one minute time of flossing is up.
6. Different Types and Color-Coded Tips
Color Coded tips like our tooth brushes allows us to identify to know the owner of the tip especially when we are sharing a single water flosser.
Majority of manufacturers also offer different type of tips that indicates its main usage:
(a) Standard - the general tip that comes with every water flosser.
(b) Toothbrush Tip - Multi-functional that let the user brush and water floss all at the same time.
(c) Plaque Tip - Designed with a small brush on the end of the tip. Its main function is to get into hard-to-reach areas to remove plaque and food particles.
(d) Deep Pocket - The type of tips that have a slightly pointed end. Its function is to flush out gum pockets to help relieve periodontal disease.
(e) Orthodontic - Designed to clean around braces and other orthodontic work. Frequently, it has a very small brush at the end of the tip to help dislodge food and other particles.
(f) Tongue Cleaner - A tongue cleaner tip removes buildup of bacteria on the tongue that is the common cause of bad breath.
7. Rotating Tip Feature
This allows the user to rotate the tip as one uses it. This makes it much easier to reach the back of your teeth.
Water flossers are portable devices that are waterproof to not get easily damaged if it gets wet.
9. Sound Level Capacity
Some units are quieter than the others. It generally depends of the power it emits when its on function.
What’s the Best Ways to Use It?
1. Use lukewarm water in the reservoir up to the level indicated on the water tank. Mouthwash maybe added but not more than 1:1 ratio.
2. Slightly lean forward over the sink, so, dripping water goes to the drain and you don’t get wet.
3. To avoid not making a mess and water to be all over you, puck your lips around the flosser’s tip with a slight opening to allow water to drain out of your mouth while using it.
4. Start at the back and bottom teeth, work your way forward, then, do the same on the upper teeth.
5. Before turning it on, place the tip inside your mouth first.
6. Start at the lowest pressure setting. Slowly increase the pressure as needed without causing irritation to your gingiva.
7. Target the pressure of the water flow between the user’s teeth with more focus on the gum line.
8. Total flossing time should be at least one minute. Half of the time spent on the bottom teeth, and the remaining half on top.
How to Maintain?
1. Flush with water the tips every after use.
2. Replace the tips every 3-6 months and replace immediately if it is broken or damaged
3. You may use a cleaning tablet to flush away and clean the water reservoir once a month.
4. If unit become damaged, do not use, have it repaired or replace immediately.
There are a lot of Oral Irrigators in the market. You can choose the right oral irrigators that you want to recommend to your patients and for your own personal use. I have personally tried Aquapick and have been using it for quite sometime. I used the countertop model in my clinic and the portable one for personal use. Bottom line, it is a very effective gadget in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
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