You know that water tool they use at the dentist when they do a general clean or root planing? It turns out that you could have your very own at home to reduce the build up of plaque in between professional treatments. Here at DigitalReviews, we like to look at ways to help you keep a healthy lifestyle, live longer and continue to support us by reading all our reviews. This time we are going to look at the Waterpik Cordless Plus water flosser.
You know that dental floss that you generally only see because your dentist used it on you at your last visit? That piece of string that he recommends you use after each meal. Yep that one, that is called a dental floss. A hardwired version if you like, a Cat6e kind. A water flosser is like a wireless version, it pulses jets of water to blast away plaque build up on your teeth and gum.
Studies in recent times indicates that poor dental hygiene can have unexpected links to general health consequences, such as increased risks for Alzheimer's disease and heart disease. I have always been predisposed to periodontitis, no matter how much effort or care I put into it. When people are booked in for half yearly cleans, I am in every quarter to try and keep things under control. It got worse when my niece accidentally smash a pole into my mouth and broke a tooth three ways along with the socket.
At one of my recent visits, my oral hygienist casually mentioned that I should consider investing in a water flosser. Aside from not having told me earlier, he also did not give me much information either. Come on buddy, I think I have lined your pocket plenty over the years! Instead I got advice (and not a cold shoulder) from a dentist I used to date, and her main advice was to get one that is waterproof. More on why later.
I opted for the Waterpik Cordless Plus, and why not when a dentist recommends it? I mean, she did not hate me enough to cold shoulder me so I guess she was not out to dud me either. Full disclosure: she did also look up my emergency dentist and clear him to work on me when I had my face bashed in by my niece.
The Waterpik Cordless Plus is cordless (Captain Obvious reporting for duty), has a water tank for 45 seconds of use, dual water pressure setting and 4 interchangeable tips. It is a bit like a toothbrush with a giant oversized handle, which is the water tank.
The unit comes with four different tips: classic water flosser, orthodontic, plaque seeker, tongue cleaner.
The Waterpik is charged by a cable into a socket, which I thought is an odd choice for a unit designed to be used wet.
The first thing I was told is to use it in the shower because it gets messy. It makes sense when all it is doing is pulsing jets of water into your mouth, and you don't have the benefit of a nurse with a suction to get the water and gunk out.
The second thing which is mentioned but really should be put in giant neon lights is to use warm water, at the very least lukewarm water. The first go I filled it with cold water from the tap and of course I did not do things half baked and put the water pressure on high. Needless to say, between the higher pressure and the icy cold water, it was not a pleasant experience at all.
Having that experience out of the way, I quickly swapped out for warm water and the lower pressure. The water flosser is meant to be used similar to the brushing action - you aim the water in between your teeth and move it in an up and down moment, making sure you get everywhere with it.
I tend to use it as I imagine my oral hygienist would - get in between the teeth, along the gum line, front side, back side, a blast along the top for good measure. Because I try to get into every nook and cranny, water is constantly flowing out of my mouth but when in the shower, it does not matter.
At the last visit with my boys, one of them had a bit of food stuck which we struggled to get out with a toothpick or floss. I ended up putting a large bucket in his lap and proceeded to blast it out with the Waterpik, much to his excitement.
I used the Waterpik for about 3 months before my last trip to the dentist, I have stretch my visits out a bit to about 5 months instead of the usual quarter. Initially I did not mention that I was using a water flosser, and the first thing he commented on was that my dental health looked much improved.
A few pointer he did give me, was that the water flosser will only be effective against "fresh plaque", so if you only use it once every few days, it will only get rid of the fresh layer. Secondly use the highest pressure you can handle. Thirdly he recommended that I use the orthodontic tip on the lower pressure. From what I understand this particular tip with it's soft head is designed to be gentler.
My only gripe about the Waterpik is the charging port. I would have liked to have a contact charging plate over the socket with exposed pins. The area seems to be coated with some silicon type of grease, I guess to keep it waterproof. I can just see it will come a time when I have to scrap it off to maintain contact for charging.
Considering how much I contribute to my dentist's holiday fund each year, the cost of a Waterpik Cordless Plus WP-462 is less than what I pay per visit. It doesn't get much better endorsement than having my oral hygienist comment on the improvements in my general gum health, so much so that he was happy to only see me twice a year. More than that, your whole family can benefit from using it daily.
The Waterpik Cordless Plus WP-462 is widely available, retailing at $169.95 on the official website, but I got mine from Catch of the Day for about $105 plus shipping. Shop around as the price does vary, but consider it an investment in total body health. Perhaps give the gift of good dental health this Christmas, to yourself and your family.