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Waterpicks! (Dental irrigators)

Online sales pages and applications have hundreds of options, types, brands and models. But do they work? Can they cause harm? which is the best for me? Should I have one, the questions go on endlessly. In a study titled “Evaluation of the effectiveness in removing dental plaque between a water flosser compared to dental floss in adults after a single use”, carried out by doctors C Ram Goyal, Deborah M Lyle, Jimmy G Qaqish and Reinhard Schuller, it was demonstrated that the use of a waterpick or dental irrigator is 29% more effective in removing plaque than the use of dental floss. BUT, this is after a single use, in this study no short, medium or long term effects are seen. The same doctors, C Ram Goyal, Deborah M Lyle, Jimmy G Qaqish and Reinhard Schuller, carried out another study, this time longer, titled “Adding a water irrigator to tooth brushing: Effects on gingival bleeding, gingivitis and plaque", studying 139 people, for a period of four weeks, with control groups, and groups that used different types of water irrigators in addition to their tooth brushing, they concluded that depending on the type of irrigator, there could be improvements in plaque control , bleeding and gingivitis.

However, there is a very important detail “depending on the type of irrigator”, not all patients are candidates to use waterpicks or water irrigators as an assistant in the control and maintenance of oral health. It has been shown that water irrigators without pressure control can cause serious damage to the gingival tissues, as well as recessions, among others. On the contrary, those that do not have enough power do not fulfill their objective and allow the accumulation of plaque. and subsequent formation of dental calculus, which leads to gingivitis, periodontitis and all its consequences. Before buying a waterpick, talk to your dentist, ask any questions you have, maybe there is one that works better in your case, maybe you don't need it, or maybe it is harmful for you to use it.

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