While we know that nearly all of our New York dental patients use an electric toothbrush, we’re uncertain how many also use an oral irrigator, often called by the brand name, Waterpik. We don’t recommend an oral irrigator as a replacement for flossing, but as an additional dental care tool.


Oral Irrigators 

At our Manhattan dental office, we routinely irrigate our patients’ teeth during cleaning and various treatments. In much the same way, oral irrigators, such as the Waterpik, shoot burst of concentrated water through a small tube that can remove bits of food, bacteria and other debris in the teeth. For those with metal braces, an oral irrigator can be a game-changer compared to just a toothbrush, as flossing with metal braces is, obviously, difficult. For those with periodontal disease, oral irrigators are a great addition to flossing.  A secondary benefit of water picks are their ability to massage the gums, promoting blood flow for healthier gums. And for all our patients, it’s a terrific third tool in the arsenal to fight tooth decay and gum disease.


A Waterpik Doesn’t Replace Floss and Doesn’t Remove Tartar

While a waterpik doesn’t replace flossing, for those with gum disease or sensitive gums, a water pick can be a temporary substitute for flossing while gum disease is being treated. Those with crowns, bridges or other dental restoration also find a pick keeps the area cleaner than just brushing. It’s wise to remember, however, that an oral irrigator doesn’t have the strength to remove tartar, which can only be removed by your New York City dentists!


Picking the Right Oral Irrigator for Your Needs

Most WaterPiks comes in two versions: home or travel use. Some models have the ability to vary the water pressure, while some do not. If you want to use mouthwash or other dental rinse in your oral irrigator, be sure the model you select has this option. Some recommend using only water.


If you have questions about the benefits of water picks or need help selecting the best model for your needs, feel free to ask us at your next appointment!

Dr Shapiro in iSmile

Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro 

Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist