Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Oral Irrigators for Optimal Oral Health. Human dentition is a rather fragile system that requires careful observation and daily care. A healthy oral cavity is a guarantee that in the future you will not have to spend money on prosthetics or experience pain. During the examination, the dental hygienist must tell in detail how to use the oral irrigator correctly and how often to clean the teeth in order to save them and avoid diseases.
A brush is an indispensable tool for care, but the dentition is heterogeneous, there are cracks and places in it that are difficult to clean completely. If hygiene is poor, pathogenic bacteria can accumulate in these areas, feeding on carbohydrates obtained from food residues, biofilm is formed and plaque accumulates, which can lead to stone formation. The device was created in the 1960s and has become a real find, especially for people prone to dental diseases: when used correctly, the irrigator removes up to 90% of the organic substances responsible for their occurrence from the enamel surface.
The use of this device is indicated for all people who monitor the health of their teeth, but it is most relevant for those who wear removable or non-removable orthodontic constructions. Braces, bridges, plates, retainers, and veneers cannot be cleaned with a brush alone, and a directed jet of liquid under pressure perfectly copes with this task and reaches even hard-to-reach places, washing out harmful organics from them and destroying deposits.
When to use it and when not to?
In most cases, the device is useful, and it is better to use it at least once a day – it will help to avoid tooth decay and inflammation and reduce the risks of more serious diseases. However, there are contraindications:
- The tendency of gums to bleed;
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system in the acute phase;
- Acute inflammatory processes in the oral cavity.
School-age children are recommended to use the device in a gentle mode – the jet pressure should be reduced to the lower limit, and also under the strict supervision of adults.
It is important to know that the device, despite its usefulness, cannot replace the daily care of dentition with a brush. It should be used solely as an auxiliary element of the system – to combat the biofilm of substances that can cause caries, and pieces of food stuck in hard-to-reach places.
How to use the oral irrigator for cleaning teeth and oral cavity
As a rule, several nozzles are included in the set (if the device is used in turn, each user should have an individual one – it is convenient to purchase a set marked in different colors or mark it yourself with permanent markers). They are designed for various purposes:
- Daily care procedures;
- Removal of plaque and hard deposits;
- Cleansing of periodontal pockets (periodontal);
- Tongue cleaning.
There can be many variations, but these are basic and sufficient for full-fledged regular care.
There are also rules for using the device. To achieve the maximum therapeutic effect, it is necessary:
- Apply it only after standard brushing at least once a day before bedtime;
- In the presence of braces, plates, or other structures for the correction of the dentition – rinse them every time after eating;
- Massage the gums only in a gentle mode, so as not to damage the delicate skin;
- Do not use floss (thread) before the hardware procedure – it can injure soft tissues, and a jet of water will only aggravate the situation;
- Hold the tongue up so that the filler cannot enter the respiratory tract.
How often should you brush your teeth with an irrigator?
The optimal frequency of use is twice a day for normal treatment (after meals) and 2-3 times a week for the prevention of dental diseases using special solutions. This is enough to maintain oral health. Too frequent use of the device is fraught with thinning and, as a result, demineralization of tooth enamel.
There are rinse aids intended for hardware cleaning on the market, but before buying them, it is better to consult with the attending dentist – he will select the best one depending on the patient’s needs (for example, with increased sensitivity, a tendency to inflammation, or caries). The Dentika clinic employs professionals in their field, and we are always ready to advise you on the choice of a medical product.
If a person wears braces, bridges, or other similar structures, it is necessary to treat the oral cavity every time after a meal so that its particles do not get stuck in the tooth gaps and do not remain on the surface of the enamel – this significantly increases the risk of damage and development of caries.
Choosing a place for the irrigator in the bathroom
- Stationary, with a large reservoir for liquid (their operation requires access to the electrical network);
- Portable, more compact, equipped with batteries or rechargeable batteries;
- Flowing – they use the pressure of the plumbing system and do not require additional power, being installed on a tap;
- Mechanical – in them, pressure is achieved by manually acting on the piston (now this is a rarity).
If the device is large, it can be installed on a bedside table or dressing table – the main thing is that the surface is horizontal, flat, and stable. There should be a power outlet nearby. The same recommendation applies to installing a base that will charge the cells. A small device can be stored in a cabinet, the main thing is that liquid does not get on it and there is no risk of dropping it.
What means to fill in the tank
The most versatile option is ordinary water (not hard, filtered, bottled, tap water is also suitable if it is of good quality) with a temperature of up to 40 ° C (hotter with constant use will ruin the device, cold will damage the enamel). Since the therapeutic effect is achieved due to the impact of the jet on the surface and tooth gaps under high pressure, it is not necessary to use special balms. Salt solutions are also suitable.
What can be driven?
As prescribed by the dentist for treatment or prevention, it is permissible to use therapeutic rinses:
- Strengthening enamel;
- Eliminating unpleasant odors and others.
You can prepare decoctions of herbs (for example, chamomile) yourself, but you must first consult with a specialist. When using herbal filler, it is important to ensure that the solid particles in its composition do not settle on the inside of the irrigator, and if this happens, rinse them immediately.
What can not be poured?
- Liquids containing oil (it corrodes the insides of the apparatus, and corrosion cannot be allowed);
- Infusions containing a suspension that can penetrate into internal parts and clog the tube;
- Antiseptics (chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide) and other drugs for surface use;
- Solutions of non-device rinse aids or toothpaste, as they foam too much and can cause clogging.
How to choose the cleaning mode and water pressure
It will be optimal to discuss this with the doctor – he will advise the best option, based on the individual characteristics of the patient. But there is a general rule: you should start processing with a minimum feed so that the gums and enamel get used to it. Subsequently, it can be increased – it is best to do this gradually, over several times. It is also worth stopping at the minimum speed if the patient has sensitive teeth or soft tissues that are prone to bleeding.
What nozzle to choose for the irrigator:
In the kit, even with an inexpensive device, a couple of options are sold. For normal oral care, the standard one is enough (it looks like a tube bent at an angle), but if there are additional features, it would be nice to use them:
- Orthodontic – with a bundle of bristles at the end, used to clean interdental spaces, maintain braces,
- Prostheses, artificial crowns, and other similar structures;
- Periodontal – with a tip made of soft silicone or rubber – for cleaning periodontal pockets (it can only be used when the sparing mode is turned on due to fragility);
- Spoon-shaped – to remove plaque from the mucous membranes: palate, tongue, and inner surfaces of the cheeks;
- Nasal – for the treatment of the sinuses.
Ordinary nozzles are recommended to be changed after six months, with brush imitation – approximately every 3 months.
Description of the steps: what is acceptable to do and what is not
Using an irrigator is not difficult if you learn and figure out how to brush your teeth with it correctly and how many times a day you need to do this.
The reservoir should be filled to the specified level with a solution or any filler, and then connected to the device.
It is necessary to fully assemble the device – without this, it cannot be turned on in order to avoid breakage.
In the case of the turned-off device, you need to find the mode recommended by the dentist and set it. For the first manipulations, choose the most gentle.
Connect the power supply, making sure that the structure is stable and will not fall if the wire is pulled.
It is advisable to tilt your head over the sink so that the flowing liquid does not splash much during the cleaning process.
Placement in the mouth
Position the spout of the irrigator so that the jet is delivered at an angle close to a straight line.
At the end of the preparations, the irrigator can be turned on. For people who are doing the procedure for the first time, the sensations of pressure may be unusual and not very pleasant, but they will not harm you, and over time, the process will become natural for you.
You should start with the molars (molars), gradually slowly moving the nozzle to the front. Do not make sudden movements – move your hand smoothly and horizontally, stopping for 3-4 seconds in the interdental spaces. If you use a bracket system, clean each of its elements separately, paying special attention to locks and gaps between the arch and the surface. It is unacceptable to direct the flow at an acute angle: you can accidentally injure the gums or “push” food debris deeper instead of washing them. Fixed dentures are processed at the lowest speed (the same applies to veneers) and as carefully as possible, removable dentures can be cleaned separately.
Big pressure is not always good! If there is any doubt about its necessity, before consulting with the attending dentist, it is better to stop at the minimum.
The average processing time for one jaw is 1 minute or a little more (depending on the presence of hard-to-reach areas and gaps, it is worth spending 3-5 seconds for each tooth). If you wear orthodontic appliances or dentures, it is recommended that you clean them as carefully and thoroughly as possible, which means that the process will take longer. If the tank is empty and the cleaning is not finished yet, turn off the device and add water or solution, then turn it on again.
Press the button on the body or handle, then remove the nozzle – in this order, because otherwise there is a risk of splattering.
Is it allowed to leave the liquid in the container after the procedure?
If the solution in the tank is not completely used up, it is usually tempting to leave it for the next time, so as not to waste time pouring a new one. It’s not worth doing. The fact is that it forms an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, including pathogens, which, under suitable conditions, will begin to multiply rapidly, making subsequent manipulations using the spent filler harmful to the body.
After use, the tube must be rid of residual water, after drying, after drying, it must be idle for a few seconds. This is especially important for portable devices in cold weather (for example, on a trip): freezing, the liquid expands and can damage the fragile tube.
How to care for your irrigator so that it lasts longer
The device must be cleaned in a timely manner to avoid the formation of plaque on its internal walls. For this:
- Disconnect the container, turn it over, and rinse under a powerful jet;
- Wipe the inner surface and the case with a soft cloth or sponge;
- To clean the structure, it is advisable to use specially designed cleaning products that remove dirt and prevent the appearance of scale;
- Always clean the device immediately after using healing balms and herbal decoctions;
- All parts must be completely dry before final assembly.
Do not use abrasive and aggressive agents, as well as hard water, as this will damage the parts. Store the device in a dry place to prevent mold. Some models come with special sterilizers for processing nozzles – do not neglect them.
Conclusion on Oral Irrigators:
How often you can (and should) use an oral irrigator and what solution (if required) to pour into it – the attending dentist will tell you during the consultation since he will proceed from your individual characteristics and maximum benefit. Here the rule applies: it is better less often, but regularly – for example, at least once a day before bedtime. A one-time use of the device will not help maintain the health of the dentition – a noticeable result can only be achieved by making efforts to achieve it every day.
The specialists of the clinic “Dentika” provide qualified medical care to all who apply to them. We are ready to give everyone detailed advice on hygiene and dental care so that they always remain healthy. Our patients don’t hide their smiles!