Dental Floss Waterpik device and Dental Issues

This post was removed at bogleheads.org due to “gives medical advice”, however, I found it essential (described reason below). This is not meant as medical advice or any other advice just as a recount of my personal experience with dental floss and the Waterpik water flossing device:

Anonymous2 wrote:

Anonymous1 wrote:

I don’t floss too hard but I’ve noticed more recession as I’ve started flossing. Most my friends don’t have this problem and I know they don’t really floss (from what I know of them during sleepovers). I don’t brush too hard, either. It’s a little confusing but what am I going to do, not floss?

It’s very likely that you have a genetic predisposition to gum problems and/or a highly effective inflamation response. Lots of things can cause this including diseases like diabetes.

I work in the dental industry and I recommend Waterpik (disclosure – not a product sold by my employer). In fact, I don’t floss at all anymore but DO waterpik daily. Start out at the lowest level and increase the pressure as your gingiva improve. In practically no time you will be at the highest setting and comfortably/quickly giving yourself a thorough gingival cleaning and massage.

Since I got my Waterpik and and moved up to the highest setting, I have stopped flossing because I always seemed to have swollen gums no matter how softly I probed with the floss. Despite not flossing my pockets decreased by 1 to 2 mm across the board. I went from having a few 5s, lots of 4s and the rest 2s and 3s to having only one 4 and all the rest 3 or lower. Believe me, that’s huge improvement and I attribute it entirely to the Waterpik – I have always been a serious brusher and had been a consciencious flosser up until that point.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to get your hygenist to share the results of his/her gingival probing the next time you’re in for your semiannual visit. You are all going in for semiannual visits, aren’t you? Seriously, dental insurance is in the dark ages compared to medical insurance but all dental plans cover the semiannual visit. As Diehards, one of the best things you can do to prevent significant costs in future dental care is to get in that office twice a year!

No dentist will recommend not flossing and I won’t officially do so either. I just said that I choose not to do so any longer. When you do floss, you must be careful not to extend far down in the pocket where you can possibly damage the area where the tissue attaches to the bone. That’s a real problem because that is where the bacteria find a safe haven and are able to multiply. Concentrate your flossing along the sides of the tooth extending only slightly into the pocket and use the Waterpik to flush out anything deep within the pocket.

For brushing, I prefer the Crest Spinbrush (disclosure – not sold by my employer and not even sold by the makers of Crest toothpaste). Toothbrushes are a personal thing but I’ve been surprised how many people have come back to me to confirm my own personal experience that it seems to clean better than any other manual or mechanical toothbrush. It’s inexpensive at Walmart for those of you willing to shop there. It can’t be much more expensive at a grocery or drug store.

To the OP, I hope your dentist dispensed or prescribed chlorhexidine gluconate (disclosure – my employer DOES sell CHX but there are many brands including generics to choose from). It is vital that you rinse with this medication during the healing phase after the trauma to your gingiva. It will keep bacteria from being able to invade the wound and cause an infection. If you got a prescription, be sure to have it filled!

I’ll get back off my soapbox for now. :D :wink:

I just want to say that due to this post, mainly, I have renewed vision about my teeth and gums! A few years ago (actually 9 yrs already!)
I went for a cleaning session and they ushered me into another room where the head dentist lady sat me down and tried to pressure me into
a series of operations, the cost of which would be around 75% of her new Mercedes Benz sitting in the garage! Involved, of course, in that session were words to the effect that I would not have any teeth 5 or so years from now and so on and so forth until I had to just abruptly get out of there, and then they kept calling me for 3 years afterwards! So I decided to brush as well as I could and floss when I could but it was difficult for me, there was blood, and I was really lazy and the timing was always bad.

Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago and there is this smell in my mouth which brushing doesn’t help. I have floss and little plastic flossers which I was afraid were not doing much mainly due to my lack of skill. And then I got a sub gum kind of blister/boil on the front right side and it started to get larger. When I squeezed it, there was that same smell on my finger so I knew something bad was going on.

I ordered the waterpik and searched and found there is a pre packaged solution which includes chlorhexidine gluconate as the active ingredient so I bought some. I have had the waterpik less than a week, the smell is gone, the blood is gone, the absess is also gone. I am going to keep using it, 6 times a week, one rest day, and using the c-20 (name of the mouthwash that has chlorhexidine gluconate in it) afterwards in the evenings after my last food intake.

I just wanted to give back to this thread and bump it for posterity, I hope whoever is looking finds this informative to their situation!