What are oral irrigators?
An oral irrigator is a water-jet home-use device for oral hygiene that helps removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup. This appliance is far less common than the popular toothbrush; yet, more and more patients come to understand oral irrigators have a complementary role in achieving and maintaining oral hygiene.
How and when should oral irrigators be used?
Many patients complain about the water jet of oral irrigators being too rough against their gums. This is why gradually increasing water pressure and maintaining it within comfortable limits is advisable. According to specialists, best results are obtained when oral irrigators are used on medium or high pressure.
Excessive use of dental irrigations could hurt your gums.
Who should use oral irrigators?
These appliances are recommended by some specialists to certain categories of patients with a higher risk to developing oral conditions, such as patients with certain forms of gum diseases, smokers, pregnant women, diabetes patients, patients with dental crowns and/or bridges or other types of dental appliances. Caution is recommended to patients suffering from certain heart conditions: should you suffer from any form of heart disease or have a previous history of medical issues related to your heart, it is advisable to ask your cardiologist before purchasing an oral irrigator, just to make sure you stay on the safe side.
What are the advantages of using oral irrigators?
Statistics claim that patients suffering from gum diseases who use oral irrigators are likely to significantly reduce bleeding gums associated with gingivitis.
Some specialists consider oral irrigators to be a viable alternative to dental floss, even though the purpose of this appliance is somewhat different, as it presents the advantage of cleaning not only the interdental spaces, but the areas under the gum line as well.
Patients who use oral irrigators at home tend to need less in-office scaling and root planing.
How to choose the best oral irrigator for your needs?
Oral irrigators can be electrical or can be attached to a faucet or shower. Electrical devices usually have buttons to adjust pressure on both the central unit and the mobile unit you hold in your hand. Compared to electric appliances, faucet-attached oral irrigators cannot be used with other than tap water, while adjusting water pressure is quite an issue. There are also manual alternatives (such as syringes, tubes or plastic bottles irrigators), intended for cleaning under the gum line; these manual irrigators are more portable, but provide poor pressure compared to their electric and faucet-powered counterparts.
They often have changeable tips, while some kits come with several tips included.