Gingivitis and periodontal disease are a real issue for many people. Bacteria gets between the teeth and then under the gum line, usually due to heavy plaque and tartar buildup, which then leads to these gum diseases. Regular cleanings can help keep the buildup at bay, but you will also need to take steps to remove it on a daily basis so your gums don't become infected. Floss is the usual method, but you may be wondering if you can use a waterpik instead. Read on to find out more about waterpiks and how they work into your dental hygiene routine.

Waterpiks Vs. Floss

Waterpiks send a high pressure stream of water at a narrow space. This works well for dislodging food from out between your teeth. They are often recommended for people that have braces or bridgework, since it can be difficult to properly floss and brush around these items.

Waterpiks work more as an alternative to brushing as opposed to flossing. Flossing actually rubs against the tooth surface, so it is able to remove bacterial buildup down between the tooth and the gum. Bacteria can be quite sticky, so it requires something to actually wipe the residue off the teeth. This is why floss is superior for gum hygiene over waterpiks.

When to Choose a Waterpik

As mentioned, waterpiks are an excellent choice for working around dental work that won't allow flossing. You should also consider a waterpik if you have arthritis or dexterity issues that won't allow you to floss well. While the waterpik won't remove all the bacteria, it is still better than not flossing or piking at all.

If you must use a waterpik exclusively, you may want to talk with your dental hygienist about scheduling more frequent cleanings. Since you won't be flossing, the bacteria may build up more quickly and lead to harmful plague buildup or gum disease.

Basic Use

Brush prior to using the pik. Waterpiks have different settings, which vary depending on the brand and model. Begin with a low pressure setting and gradually increase it as you become used to the pressure. Aim the pick between the teeth and move the water from the gum line upward to dislodge food and debris stuck between the teeth. Repeat this for each tooth. Use the pick at least twice a day, in the morning and evening.

For more information on flossing alternatives, contact your local dental centre like Grover Dental Centre Dentist.