What does an oral irrigator do?

PREC Oral irrigators for healthy teeth and gums

Adding an oral irrigator to your routine can be invaluable in the fight against gum disease. Specifically, oral water irrigators have been proven to:

  • Reduce the overall amount of bacteria that increases your risk of developing gum disease.
  • Remove 99% more plaque than brushing alone, especially when used in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
  • Help control gingivitis—particularly in those who don’t floss on a regular basis.
  • Reduce the incidence of gum bleeding.
  • Improve bad breath.

Although oral irrigation was designed to replace flossing, dentists recommend that flossing remain a part of one’s daily oral care routine, as it is more effective at removing plaque than dental irrigation.

Oral irrigation to the rescue: when flossing isn’t an option

Oral irrigation is often recommended for people who are unable to tolerate flossing. Sensitive gums, orthodontic appliances, diabetes, dental implants, and non-compliance are all reasons why oral irrigation is an effective alternative to flossing. For people with sensitive gums, flossing can prove to be highly irritating; oral irrigators are an excellent alternative and should be used on a regular basis. 

People with orthodontic appliances are also good candidates for using an oral irrigation system because of the difficulty they tend to have flossing around metal wires. Studies have found that people with braces and other orthodontic devices who use an oral irrigator with a specialized tip after brushing, remove three times the amount of plaque as those who use a floss threader, and five times as much plaque as those who only brush.

Because diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease — especially if glucose levels are uncontrolled or improperly controlled — diabetics can benefit greatly from using an oral irrigator. Even when glucose levels are stable, diabetics tend to be predisposed to experiencing more gum bleeding and inflammation than non-diabetics who have the same level of plaque build-up.

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