The oral irrigator - a practical helper for dental care

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Proper teeth cleaning is essential for good dental health. Especially for cleaning the interdental spaces, an oral irrigator can be a useful helper. Does a mouthwash thus replace the dental floss? And what should be considered when using and cleaning oral irrigators? Here you will find tips on the function and handling of oral showers.

Why thorough dental care is important

Frequently, dental care focuses on exposed tooth surfaces. However, cleaning the interdental spaces is at least as important as these sites account for about 30 percent of the total tooth surface. Plaque can form there as well as on the surfaces of the teeth.

During the day, food particles accumulate between the teeth. Since it is often not possible to reach all parts of the tooth during normal brushing, bacteria in the interdental spaces can often multiply unnoticed. This can lead to inflammation of the gums and caries.

Mouth showers to clean the interdental spaces

In terms of thorough cleaning of the interdental spaces, it makes no difference whether you are a normal or an electrical one toothbrush used.

Helpful in cleaning narrow interdental spaces is therefore Dental floss. At slightly larger spaces can Interdental brushes be used.

In addition to these teeth cleaning methods can Mundduschen are used, which are particularly helpful in certain situations.

What is an oral irrigator?

Oral showers are used as an aid in daily oral hygiene to quickly and easily rid the teeth and interdental spaces of food debris and loose dental plaque using a jet of water.

Mouth showers do not replace the use of a toothbrush, but unlike flossing too reach difficult places, for example under bridges or implants.

What types of oral irrigator are there?

There are different types of oral showers available:

  1. An oral irrigator with a hose directly connected to the tap does not require a water tank and thus has no problems with bacteria formation in the water tank - in contrast to stationary models. Such models are usually cheaper, but require the immediate proximity to a (suitable) faucet.
  2. A stationary electric irrigator is often a bit bigger, usually has a removable water tank, but in some cases does not allow great flexibility due to the hose and the necessary proximity to a power outlet. For hygienic reasons, the water tank should be cleaned regularly.
  3. In contrast, a mobile oral shower (Travel shower) with either a battery or battery operated and has an integrated water tank, so that can be dispensed with a cable and a hose. However, the water tank is smaller than in stationary models and must also be cleaned regularly.

Note differences in the water jet

There are also differences with regard to the jet of water: there are mouthwashes with a single jet of water, which, by means of bundling, can purify food particles from the interdental spaces.

Furthermore, but also with devices multibeam Recruitment offered, which have a massaging effect on the gums and thus act preventively against gingivitis.

In many models, the strength of the water jet is adjustable, there are also variants with pulsating or rotating beam.

Accessories and accessories

In addition, some mouthwashes allow you to mix certain antibacterial additives into the water and so accurately introduce into the periodontal pockets.

Furthermore, the accessories often contain various top nozzles or are available separately, for example, for wearers of fixed braces.

What is an oral irrigator?

The regular use of an oral irrigator in addition to tooth cleaning with the toothbrush should offer the following advantages:

  • Eliminate food waste
  • Reduction of bad breath
  • Prophylaxis and possibly even relief of gingivitis
  • Rinsing poorly accessible areas in people with implants or bridges
  • Cleaning the teeth and interdental spaces in people with fixed braces
  • Alternative to flossing in old and restricted people
  • shorter duration of use than dental floss
  • general improvement of oral and dental hygiene

How do I use an oral irrigator?

The handling of an oral irrigator is uncomplicated. If you use an oral irrigator for the first time or have a sensitive gum, you should pay attention to the function, first one low pressure of the water jet to prevent injury to the gums. If the handling of an oral irrigator is already known, the water jet can be increased to a medium pressure range with healthy gums.

When applying, the water jet must be directed away from the gum in the direction of the tooth crown so as to remove dental plaque. Then you can direct the jet of water towards the gingival pockets, so that there are further deposits rinsed out. High-quality oral showers can choose between a cleansing or massage mode.

By timer, the Duration of the cleaning process be monitored to prevent overuse of the gums.

How often should you use an oral irrigator?

The oral irrigator should be used daily morning and evening before or better after brushing your teeth. But you can also use the oral irrigator in between, for example, to remove disturbing food particles.

How do I clean my oral irrigator?

Observe the following tips for hygienic cleaning of your oral irrigator:

  • After each use, mouthwashes should be rinsed with hot water and dried with a cloth to avoid limescale.
  • Disinfection of the device is necessary at regular intervals, so that no bacteria, viruses or other germs in the nozzle or in the hose propagate.
  • Supportive, a simple mouthwash solution can be used to clean the mouthpiece or handset. For stationary oral showers, it is recommended to fill the cleaning solution directly into the water tank. The cleaning agent can then be rinsed out through the hose again.
  • For models with a water tank, it should be cleaned regularly - preferably at high temperatures in the dishwasher.

What is better: oral irrigator or dental floss?

You can use both dental floss and a single oral irrigator to remove irritating food particles between the teeth. Dental floss is often perceived as cumbersome and time consuming in the application. In "dental floss muffles" the oral irrigator is therefore popular as a fast and comfortable alternative. The use of dental floss, however, does not require cleaning, unlike the use of an oral irrigator.

The oral irrigator may also be an alternative to dental floss in the following cases:

  • at wide tooth gaps the oral irrigator is better suited than dental floss.
  • Especially for people who have one fixed braces wear and teeth and interdental spaces with toothbrush and flossing can hardly reach, therefore, an oral irrigator is an important tool for cleaning teeth.
  • Also at Bridges or implants The use of an oral irrigator is advisable, since it is precisely the hard-to-reach distances between crowns and tooth replacements that can be flushed through.
  • Sometimes in the area of ​​the almonds in the pharyngeal area due to deposition of food particles so-called tonsil stones (Tonsil stones), which lead to strong halitosis. Here, the oral irrigator can provide relief by the water jet of the oral irrigator is aimed specifically at the pharynx and thus the almonds are flushed out.
  • Also with people Gingivitis The careful use of an oral irrigator can alleviate the symptoms and prevent them.
  • Motion restricted or the elderly, flossing is more difficult to use, a mouthwash can minimize the risks of tooth disease.

Basically, you should use a combination of electric toothbrush with sonic or ultrasonic, oral irrigator and dental floss for teeth cleaning in a healthy dentition to achieve the best possible cleaning result.

For whom is an oral shower unsuitable?

In case of acute gingivitis, small injuries in the mouth or periodontitis, the use of an oral irrigator should be better avoided, otherwise it could lead to an aggravation.

At most, the irrigator can be used in such cases carefully and with little pressure, for example, to gently massage the gums. To clean the interdental spaces floss and interdental brushes are then better suited.

People at high risk for endocarditis (heart wall inflammation), such as those with heart defects or artificial heart valves, are generally discouraged from using oral irrigators. Because there is a risk that the endocarditis pathogens are dragged out of the oral cavity into the bloodstream through the oral irrigator.

Which is the best oral irrigator?

Meanwhile, a variety of different oral showers available. In addition to well-known brands such as Braun® (Oral-B®), Panasonic® or Philips®, oral irrigators are also available from lesser-known suppliers such as Waterpik®.

Each irrigator has different properties. Which type of device you select as a user depends crucially on the result you want to achieve and what type of irrigator is best suited for the application.

Due to the constantly growing number of offers, you should first compare current test results before purchasing or even carry out a test, for example, at the dentist.

Conclusion: Is an oral irrigator sensible - yes or no?

Oral showers are quite useful when used properly and can be used in addition to the toothbrush. Especially if you rarely use floss or its use is not possible, so you can not clean the interdental spaces regularly, the purchase of an oral irrigator is recommended.

The oral and dental hygiene can be significantly improved by the regular use of an oral irrigator. However, under no circumstances should the oral irrigator replace the toothbrush - and in the best case, not the dental floss.

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