Practicing proper dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is critical. However, braces make it more difficult to keep teeth clean. A water flosser can help.
Let’s discuss the history of the device and how it can help you keep your teeth clean.
A water flosser is also known as an interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet. The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was developed in the early 1960s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The instrument 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 products. (Note: Burlingame Smile Studio does not necessarily endorse any specific 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 guide the stream of shooting water around the gumline, pausing briefly at each gap between adjacent teeth.
There have been over 65 studies that have validated the safety and efficacy of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis treatment.
The friendly team at Burlingame Smile Studio would love to help you learn the most appropriate processes for keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces or a retainer.
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