Since I've got to pik with water, what's the very Best Water Pik?
June 8, 2017 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Home from the dentist, mouth healthy but two molars crumbling and getting bits of food stuck in crevasses. "Go and use a water pik" says my dentist, and I'm happy to do it. Except: which tool to buy?

I buy lots of things online, compare features, read reviews. Expected to spend some time, but be able to order something to squirt water in and around my teeth. Good grief. There are many, many, many choices and I have no intuitive opinion about any of them. So, if you have one, which one do you have and how happy are you with it? Direct current, rechargeable battery, cheap, expensive? What feature(s) are essential? I also welcome horror stories to steer me away from dental disaster.

Note: if it matters, I floss twice a day with unwaxed floss, and use a Sonicare toothbrush.
posted by kestralwing to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I bought a version of this Panasonic based mostly on price (about $30) that got mostly pretty positive reviews, figuring that it would be a good starter model and I'd consider upgrading if any limitations drove me nuts. Honestly, it's totally fine, gets the job done, and I'm not yearning for something with swankier details. (As its a collapsible travel model, I do make sure to let it dry in "extended" position to prevent grossness.)
posted by desuetude at 11:34 PM on June 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Started using a water pik almost two years ago and it's honestly been life-changing; my dentist agrees. But, it does take a looong time to really understand how to use it. This is the one that I use. Read the instructions, watch the videos and learn how to clean the machine to get all the benefits. I also use these little things and like them even more than floss.
posted by lois1950 at 11:34 PM on June 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have a cheapo travel version from Target, and it serves me fine because I only use it for flare-ups of periodontal inflammation in targeted areas. It doesn't hold enough water to thoroughly clean my entire month in one go; if I were using it everywhere, I'd go with a larger tanked model.
posted by serelliya at 11:43 PM on June 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have the same model as the one linked by lois1950 and am happy with it. I don't recall how long I've had it but they pretty much last forever. Features that are nice to have: adjustable pressure control (because at first your tender gums need to ramp up slowly to getting blasted), tip storage in the lid (less fiddly stuff to lose in a drawer).

My dad faithfully used a Waterpik from when they were first invented in the early '60s until he passed away a few years ago. He still had all his teeth at 92.

Things they might not mention in the manual:
• Use lukewarm water
• Turn off the 'pik before pulling the tip out of your mouth unless you want to shoot a jittering stream of water all over the bathroom mirror.
posted by jamaro at 11:55 PM on June 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure this is the one my mother in law got a few months ago and she's been singing its praises. She travels quite a bit and also doesn't have much counter space so it fits the bill.
posted by brilliantine at 4:14 AM on June 9, 2017

I replaced a traditional Water Pik with a Sonicare air flosser similar to the Panasonic one above, and the difference in user experience is like night and day--it's so easy and tidy in comparison to the water pik that I honestly can't understand why it's not just a standard thing for everyone to own. Note that it doesn't entirely replace floss, which I still use a few times a week.
posted by padraigin at 4:39 AM on June 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have the exact same Panasonic unit as desuetude and I'm very happy with it. I needed something portable for when I'm roughing it, and it's very much that and the price was right, but the portability means some tradeoffs.

It takes 2x AA batteries, and they don't last especially long. I got rechargeables and have to charge them every week or two. There is no low battery warning, so you might want to get four AAs and keep a pair charged and ready in case you run out halfway through.

As with the one serelliya mentions, the tank isn't very big and I generally find myself using two fills in a sitting. It took three when I first started using it (and was quite messy), though, and one fill might do now that I've gotten the hang of the thing were it not for some bad spots which I spend extra time on, so YMMV.

I'll also echo both jamaro's advice (applicable to any of these things) and desuetude's: lukewarm water, turn off before de-mouthing, and leave the tank extended and opened (or better yet, I disassemble most nights) to dry the innards.
posted by MoTLD at 6:51 PM on June 9, 2017

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