Further Recommendations for the Water- Pik (Water Floss)


Until a few years ago I would never recommended the Water-Pik.   Patients gave up doing all their other home care and did a really lazy job with their Water-Pik. When they came in for a cleaning their gums looked much worse. Over the last 5 years, I’ve learned that when patients do the other home care routine (proper brushing and flossing, using an electric tooth brush) and then do a good job with their Water- Pik, the results can be pretty spectacular.

So who will get a worthwhile benefit from using this device?

The first group is the group who have periodontal disease with bone loss. These patients have more surface area on their roots because more root is showing. Also, the shape of the roots frequently has indentations that are just hard to get to, a prime reason that these patients need to have their teeth cleaned every 3-4 months. With the aid of the Water-Pik, the toxins produced by bacteria plus any residual food that remains in the area is flushed out.

Another group that can benefit from this device is the people with medical issues that require taking several medicines. The medicine may help that particular disease or unfavorable condition, but it will likely change the chemistry in the oral environment, making the teeth more susceptible to decay and the gums more inflamed. Once again, getting everything flushed out is a winner here. I have one patient with Parkinson’s disease who has a spectacular improvement in his oral condition just since adding this device to his home care regimen over the past year.

Kids with braces…this group is typically not great with home care. The gums frequently get very inflamed, but not too much damage to the teeth. The gums will bounce back, in this young population, but the enamel may decalcify around brackets that hold the wires, causing discoloration and/or decay around these teeth. Regular flushing out of remaining food debris after brushing can be helpful to avoid or at least minimize the damage.

What kind of Water-Pik should someone buy? There are all sorts of products on the market. If you look at amazon.com, there are a lot of products to choose from. If you don’t like to use up counter space in your bathroom, there are types where water can go in the handle and the large tub to put on the counter is eliminated. And with this type you can take it along if you are on the road a lot.

Yes, it can be a bit messy, especially if your manual dexterity is challenged. But as I continue to practice and recommend this product to my patients, I am increasingly fond of this as a most useful dental gadget which, if used and used properly will help you improve your dental condition.