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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Review: Waterpik Ultra

So I've been in a bit of a cleansing mood these last few months. A combination of sickness, the dentist telling me that I need to better take care of my teeth (and i floss, do 10 minute brushes, and mouthwash every day!), and a lingering cough finally got me off my butt to order a couple of items. This review here will talk about the Waterpik Ultra. You can get it from Amazon at below 50 dollars.

I received the unit two weeks ago and has been using it for that long. First the Aesthetics. The unit itself is quite small, smaller than you expect, consisting of a water tank capable of holding 600ml of water, a case so you can put all the spare piks the unit comes with that also doubles as a lid for the water tank, and the sprayer/nozzle.

The tips that comes with the unit are as follows:

# Two standard jet tips -- Cleans deep between teeth and below the gumline
# One tongue cleaner -- Removes bacteria that cause bad breath
# One orthodontic tip -- Cleans hard to reach areas around braces and other dental work
# One Pik Pocket tip -- Gently delivers therapeutic rinses into gum pockets
# One toothbrush tip -- You can brush and water jet at the same time

So all in all, the package is pretty featured packed.

So how does it work? You basically fill the tank with water or mouthwash, pick the pressure settings and then turn the unit on. In minutes, water starts pulsing out of the pik itself. Place the pik with your mouth closed at a 90 degree angle from where the gum meets the teeth and the cleaning starts. The first time I used it, I put the pressure on 1 and it felt like a cleaning from the dentist.

Now, feeling as clean as it does from the dentist, and it being as clean are two separate things, but the amazing thing is that the waterpik does clean out stuff from way back, the wisdom tooth area where the pockets are typically the biggest and you'll also find the biggest chunks of stuff. A good flossing can remove about 70% of the stuff that lodges back there, but the waterpik actually gets over 80 to 90% based on what I feel. Usually after I floss, I can still feel a bit of stuff back there, but the effort to dig it out is usually too difficult. With the Waterpik, a good spray and its usually out. So I'm fairly impressed.

On the topic of accessories, as can be seen from the list above, it comes with a ton of stuff. I've used the pik pocket and the tounge cleaner and the brush, and they all seem to be...less than useful. Perhaps I just like the high pressure feel of the regular pik, after two weeks, I'm on pressure setting 6, and can use 10 if I want to, but the rest of the accessories seems more interested in diffusing the water so that it floods rather than pulses. It just doesn't feel as clean after I used the pik, and the brush, as I mentioned above is useless. Stick to your automated toothbrushes folks!

The other nice side effect of using the Waterpik thus far is the feel that it gives you a gum massage.

Research has also proven that the Waterpik does do the job. Note that it does read like a Waterpik commercial, but I could detect no real bias as others are mentioned and the reason for the seeming Waterpik bias is because they've been on the market forever.

In short, if your oral care is less than ideal and you feel like you could spend less pain at the dentist, I highly encourage you pick up a Waterpik. Even if it breaks like some reviewers on Amazon states a year into it, it'll still be less than the price of an extra cleaning at the dentist! I go 4 times a year and pay 70 dollars each time out of pocket for the 2 extra cleanings, so spending 50 dollars more a year to improve my dental hygiene? Its a no brainer!

Highly recommended product, based on the research and my personal experience so far.


Unknown said...

Thanks piaw. I made a video on how to use the waterpik because so many of our patients had questions. This may help you and your readers. Would you mind sharing with your audience.

Sam Weisz
Libertyville Dental Associates

Michael said...

I agree that adding a Waterpik to your cleaning regiment can make a huge difference in oral health results. I have a somewhat unique issue in that I have a wisdom tooth that never came totally in. As a result there is a pocket like area between the under the gum wisdom tooth and the molar next to it. Food particles get into this pocket and it is very hard to clean it out. I finally was told to use a Waterpik to flush out this large pocket area and to add hydrogen peroxide to the warm water in the Waterpik to help kill bacteria. This works really well and I have not had any problems, the rest of my teeth also are much healthier with a daily Waterpik and hydrogen peroxide flush.
I decided to start a review website about the Waterpik and to post articles about natural ways to maintain healthy teeth and avoid trips to the dentist.

Michael Chadd