One common question addressed to the dentist: which is the best irrigator (known also as dental water-jet or hydro floss)? Well, the answer to this is clear: the electric units equipped with fluid reservoirs (avoid irrigators with water tap adaptors).
What are they for?
Oral irrigators are designed to help clean plaque from hard-to-reach places in the mouth: from between the teeth and around gum margins. They are an aid in reducing harmful bacteria and therefore the risk or severity of gum diseases. They are counterproductive in subgingival areas (tending to pack debris in the deep pockets instead of removing it) and they do not replace mechanical cleaning performed with interdental brushes, since they are less effective in.
What is the operating principle of oral irrigators?
There are two main types of oral irrigators: one works with pulsed water-jet and the other incorporates micro-bubbles of air into the fluid stream. Both types aim to flush and partly also disrupt plaque that flossing leaves behind.
When is the use of an oral irrigator recommended?
This is the most complex issue. Many people purchase an oral irrigator in the hope of making their oral care easier. This is just an illusion that needs to be dispelled: by adding more devices (the use of which require more time, more maintenance, cleaning and disinfecting) to the oral care protocol will not make it simple, but more difficult. Its cleaning efficacy will not rival with the power of toothbrush and interdental brush (just like you will not be able to clean you dishes by water jet alone, the power of scraping sponges is undoubtedly indispensable). If you already use the toothbrush, interdental brush and floss, tongue scraper and fluoride gel at a proficiency level, the oral irrigator will contribute to further improve your home oral care by one notch.
How to use the oral irrigator / dental water jet / hydro floss?
Most importantly, consult your dentist! Fill the water tank with clean water. Water should be the first choice, but you may use a diluted mouth rinse in case of non-responding gingivitis. Oral irrigation must be preceded by proper brushing and flossing!
Still, what is the best irrigator?
In the selection of irrigators such factors as supply of accessories or spare parts and the presence and density of a servicing network can be crucial. Among countertop units the products of Braun / Oral-B, Waterpik and Panasonic are the most reliable. For those who look for cordless water floss units, the Philips Sonicare Airfloss can be a good choice.