Oral Irrigator Systems
An oral irrigation system is a dental
device that clears food from between the teeth by using a high-pressure stream
of water. Oral irrigators, sometimes called dental water jets, have been on
the market for several years, but are not unanimously recommended by dentists
over flossing. Waterpik, the most popular of the oral irrigation systems,
claims that their product is 93 percent more effective than using dental
floss. Popular brands of oral irrigators besides Waterpik are HydroFloss and
OralBreeze. To determine whether oral irrigators are better for your teeth
than flossing, consult your dentist.
- Waterpik, the first oral irrigator, was conceived in
1955 and was made available to the public in 1967. The idea for Waterpik
was started by Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulic engineer.
Moyer teamed up with Mattingly in order to create an easy and effective
alternative to flossing. According to the Waterpik website, "Clinical
trials have shown that it is safe and effective on people in periodontal
maintenance, and for those with gingivitis, orthodontic appliances, crowns
and bridges, implants, diabetes or for those who don't use floss."
Over the years, other oral irrigators such as HydroFloss and OralBreeze
were introduced to the market, threatening the sales of Waterpik and
creating new, easy-to-use models such as the faucet-style irrigator and
the portable irrigator.
- Waterpik's most popular model, the Personal Dental
Water Jet, is available at most drugstores, along with the OralBreeze
Showerpik, which contains a shower attachment, and the HydroFloss, a
magnetic oral irrigator. Although the more portable products like the
OralBreeze and the HydroFloss, tend to be the most reasonably priced, they
also provide far less power and durability than the Waterpik.
- Although the Waterpik, the HydroFloss and the
OralBreeze all claim to be at least 90 percent more effective than
flossing, most dentists still recommend flossing for regular patients
without gingivitis or other painful tooth problems. Although special-needs
dental patients, such as those with braces, may benefit the most from oral
irrigators, any regular user can experience benefits from oral irrigators.
- Changes in water pressure do affect the design and
effectiveness of your oral irrigator. Some oral irrigators, like the
Waterpik Personal Dental Water Jet, contain their own refillable tank that
provides the water source for the tool. The OralBreeze, on the other hand,
operates directly from your faucet, allowing the water pressure to vary
between users. OralBreeze users who have very low water pressure will
experience results that are not as beneficial as those who have higher
water pressure. The HydroFloss contains a magnet in its irrigator, which
according to Hydrofloss, is 44 percent more effective than the Waterpik,
the OralBreeze and any other non-magnetic oral irrigator.