Published on September 1st, 2009 | by Greg0
Water Jets: Taking Oral Health to New Heights
As a dental professional I am required to participate in a certain amount of continuing education each year. I am a registered dental hygienist with with 9 years of experience, and at 20 hours per year that’s a lot of extra education. Even with the amount of time I spend actively seeking out new knowledge, information seems to come from the most unexpected places. I have long been a supporter of Waterpik, in particular the dental waterjet system that they are most known for. I have always told my patients that a water jet, or oral irrigation system is a fantastic supplement to daily brushing and flossing. This evening though, while finishing up my research for this article, I learned that oral irrigation can actually be more effective than flossing in some situations. I will always encourage everyone to floss, that will never change. After today I will also be encouraging people (especially those who have braces or gum disease) to invest in a Waterpik.
Oral irrigation systems have come a long way since they first became available in the 1960’s. Waterpik’s Ultra Dental Water Jet will take up very little counter-space, and has an impressive reservoir of 600 mL. It comes with an assortment of tips, including a tongue scraper, a toothbrush head and my favorite, the orthodontic tip. The orthodontic tip is ideal for cleaning around bands and brackets and wires that come with having braces, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend using it as your primary tip. There is a lid that keeps the water in the reservoir clean, and holds all of the accessories very neatly. At $69.99 it’s a wonderful investment in your oral and overall health.
Waterpik makes toothbrushes as well. The Sensonic Professional Toothbrush landed middle of the road for me. It’s got a nice ergonomic handle, a high and a low speed and most importantly, a 2 minute timer with 30 second intervals. We’ve looked at brushes in the past that have different timing options and LED screens with sensor alerts. My professional opinion is to find a toothbrush you are happy with and use it for the full two minutes twice a day. Waterpik’s Sensonic Professional is a nice choice, and is very reasonably priced at $79.99.
Both products have a two-year warranty and are readily available from every major department store and drug store nationwide, as well as many online retailers.