What is a water pik? Do I need one?

Water piks (also known as oral irrigators) are a great addition to your regular oral health care routine of brushing and flossing. An especially helpful tool for those folks who suffer from periodontal disease (gingivitis) and for our patients in orthodontic treatment with full braces, water piks use tiny, but powerful bursts of water to dislodge bits of food, bacteria, and other yucky debris hiding in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. Patients in orthodontic treatment may find using a water pik helpful if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on the wires or brackets.

When you use a water pik, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging your gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums, keeping them healthy. Do keep in mind, however, that while water piks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are NOT capable of completely removing plaque. That’s why Dr. Horner and Dr. Barrow and the team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day, and to continue to see your family dentist every six months for your regular dental checkups.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, a water pik can be a good way to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water piks to flossing because they don’t cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem when using floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other type of dental restoration, you may also find that using a water pik helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

How do you choose the right water pik for you?

Water piks are available for home or portable use. The home models are larger and use standard electrical outlets, while the portable versions use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in essentially the same way, both using pulsating water streams. A more critical difference in water piks is the ability to adjust the water pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, which can be very important, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable versions have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pik, first check the label. Some water piks recommend using water only.

Please give us a call at our Sioux Falls, SD office if you have any questions about water piks. You can also ask Dr. Horner or Dr. Barrow about them during your next visit.

Preparing For Your Orthodontic Consultation

Start Preparing For Your Consultation Now

When you start thinking about going to the orthodontist for that all-important first consultation, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little nervous or apprehensive. You may be wondering what your orthodontic experience will be? Whether you have been referred to us by your dentist, or decided on your own to seek orthodontic care from our office, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your initial consultation at Horner Barrow Orthodontics.

One of the best ways to prepare for your orthodontic consultation is to understand your options. With so many treatment choices available today, orthodontic care is a lot more versatile than in years past. You can start preparing now by researching  and understanding those different options. Armed with a few specific points in mind, you can be totally confident and prepared for your consultation.

Good Questions to Ask During Your Consultation

As you consider orthodontic care, a few questions will likely come up. Don’t be afraid to ask any of those questions you might have. Our orthodontic team is here to help you fully understand the entire process. Here are just a few questions you might want to ask at your consultation here in our Sioux Falls, SD office.

How much can I expect to pay for my treatment? What are my payment options?

Is there an estimated length of time that I will need to wear my braces?

Will it hurt to get my braces put on? Is there anything I can do to prevent or minimize the pain or discomfort?

Are there any specific foods I will need to avoid once I get my braces put on?

Will having braces prevent me from playing my favorite sport or musical instrument?

Is it likely that I will be wearing extra appliances in addition to braces to correct my overbite or other problems?

How can I keep my teeth clean while wearing braces?

How often will I need to come in for checkups and other appointments?

If any other questions arise after your consultation with us, please, don’t be afraid to ask. Our orthodontic team will be here to help you throughout the entire process.

Feel Confident Throughout Your Orthodontic Experience

With answers to your questions, and an orthodontic team on your side, you can be confident about any necessary orthodontic treatments. From your initial consultation to that wonderful day when your braces come off, your orthodontic treatment can be a smooth, simple process and a great experience. That moment you see your dazzling, beautiful new smile, you’ll know it was all worth it.

Thank you for placing your trust in Horner Barrow Orthodontics.  We truly appreciate it!