Hydrofloss? Does it work?
April 24, 2007 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Does Hydrofloss work? http://www.hydrofloss.com/ I had a Braun Oxyjet irrigator which I loved. it died and they don't sell them anymore except as part of a whole Braun system. I have a Sonic Care and am happy with that. I guess I am hesitant to spend $70-90 on something that says magnet change the polarity of the water. 45% more plaque reduction than Waterpik. Anybody know anything about these?

I guess the other one is the Oxycare 3000.
posted by thinktwice to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
magnet[ically] change the polarity of the water

Phrases like that set my bullshit meter off big-time.
posted by chrisamiller at 4:12 PM on April 24, 2007

See, as a dental assistant, my first smartass comment is: "or you could just use the darn floss"
I don't get why, if a person was able-bodied that is, you just don't floss, it's the cheapest, time-tested way to get that interproximal plaque off the teeth. I love innovations in teeth cleaning technology. I love the Sonicare, I have seen it improve patients' gingival condition. I haven't seen anything conclusive on the effectiveness of these gadgets.
OTOH, if a person who didn't floss and is never going to floss will use something like this regularly because they love a machine doing it for them, then go for it.
OTOH, okay so I've got three hands, if a person were flossing traditionally and supplementing their hygiene routine with this, flushing out under bridge work or in periodontally involved pockets and furcations and such, then bravo to that person.
Geez, that's a lot of typing to say, no, I don't have experience with that product.
posted by Jazz Hands at 4:51 PM on April 24, 2007

I wouldn't give up my Braun toothbrush for the world, but I've tried every machine flosser to come out and ultimately I have to use a manual "y-prong" device as my teeth are too tight.

I never have to worry about re-using the same section of floss more than once, if I do it will shred (yes - the non-shred stuff shreds for me, I have "faced it" - I simply have "rat teeth")....
posted by jkaczor at 5:12 PM on April 24, 2007

Jazz Hands - there are a couple of reasons to prefer water jet to string flossing:

1) The string can hurt your fingers (I know there are devices to mitigate this, but they take additional time);

2) Some teeth are very tight together, and while it is possible to use a floss threader to thread the floss between the teeth, it's a messy pain and raises the expense and storage required;

3) Flossing can make your mouth taste ooky for a little bit; yes, you'd brush just afterward, but I can understand why people would prefer the "cleaner feeling" of a water jet.

That said, a device like that does use extra electricity, take up a lot of space, and is messy in its own way. But I can totally understand why some people who didn't focus on these drawbacks might prefer one.
posted by amtho at 7:23 PM on April 24, 2007

Response by poster: I do floss. The Braun OxyJet always seemd to catch other stuff plus when you floss you can just dislodge the food and it sits somewhere in your mouth and re-seats itself when you are done.

These water jets seem to massage the gums nicely.
posted by thinktwice at 7:54 PM on April 24, 2007

this place is selling the OxyJet for 50 bucks with free shipping
posted by forallmankind at 8:14 PM on April 24, 2007

bah! that's with a free shipping tracking number - a slightly less impressive incentive....
posted by forallmankind at 8:16 PM on April 24, 2007

I have one. I dig it.

My dental surgeon/regular dentist team suggested it during/after i had a terrible infection in my mouth that needed drastic treatment. I'm still supposed to traditionally floss, but the machine gets stuff that nothing else can.

If you want to be simultaneously grossed out and pleased with your purchase, stop up the drain in the sink when you use it and get a nice good look at all the nasty crap thats lurking in your mouth (and would still be if you hadn't just hydroflossed it out).

Though, I've not used another brand of a similar device, so my only backing is that yes this one does work very well, and my dentist team whom are way on point highly recommend this machine over the others.
posted by teishu at 8:27 PM on April 24, 2007

Best answer: ....magnet change the polarity of the water

This claim is psycho-ceramics of the first order.

If a magnet did "change the polarity" of water, it likely wouldn't remain water for very long. I've worked with machines that can do this; they're called plasma generators.

Magnets don't do anything to water. They don't significantly purify water. They do not cause any changes to the water after the water passes through them.

Now, to their credit, the manufacturers have got a couple of papers on the site published in what appear to be reputable peer-reviewed journals. Their claim is that "magnetically" driven water is more effective at keeping teeth clean than other (mechanical pump) water cleaners. Most mechanical pumps are electromagnetic too, but that seems to be ignorged in the papers.

For all their claims about causes, it's not at all clear to me that they just haven't created a more efficient water jet by fiddling the water pressure and the pulse timing. Both are important to a water jet's efficiency. So their cacodoxic claims aside, the manufacturers may have a better device than others on the market, or did in 1998 when the study was done.

But. Talk to your dentist. This study is almost ten years old. There may well be better machines on the market now.
posted by bonehead at 6:34 AM on April 25, 2007

Response by poster: I bought the Water Pik as there certainly seems to be a dearth of oral irrigators. If the Braun were selling great they would have continued making it. After doing some research on magnetized water, my instincts were good, it is total bunk. Pseudo-science. Like I say, "If it were that great, it would be on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, WSJ, NYT, WAPO."
posted by thinktwice at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2007


I have something to share on this discussion. A lot of people have expressed doubt about the Hydro Floss.

There are generally two studies that I know of that show the effectiveness of the Hydro Floss.

Both studies indicate that an oral irrigator using magnetics does increase the ability of the irrigator to remove calculus.

Since there is so much controversy, I bought a copy of the stronger study. Because of copyright issues, I cannot post the study in its entirely, but I did post a few words about it: Hydrofloss Effectiveness

I also posted the periodical site that I bought my copy from there. So, if you still have some doubts you could purchase your own copy from them.

I also have my own personal experience with the Hydro Floss:

My dentist and hygienist wanted me to have a root scaling and planing done because my gums were bleeding and there was tartar (calculus) build up under the gum line.

A root scaling and planing requires that they numb your gums and scrape under the gum line along the root surface.

It takes about 2 hours to do one side of your mouth properly and then you have to come in later to get the other side done.

I did not like the sound of that at all, so I declined.

I went home and started researching alternatives. I found the hydrofloss and started using it.

At my next appointment I was told that I no longer needed the root scaling and planing and that there was no longer tartar build up under the gums.

Therefore, in support of the Hydro Floss, I offer the above link plus my own experience.

Because of my experience and also because so many people are ignorant about gum disease, I wrote a book about fighting it: What You Should Know About Gum Disease. My book is a combination of my own experiences with gum disease, what I did to combat it and my own non-scientific research and thoughts about gum disease.

I mention this to demonstrate that I'm not just a person who read a few things on gum disease and spouts off his new found knowledge.

The Hydro Floss is one of the several tools that I use.

Of course, I still use regular brushing and flossing. Those are very useful and important.

However, I believe they alone are not enough for most people. The supporting evidence I offer for that last sentence is that 80% of adult Americans have some form of gum disease. (I don't have the exact reference but this statistic is mentioned on the Mayo Clinic website and you can ask any periodontist and I think they will confirm that there is a high incidence of gum disease amongst the population)

I do believe there are people who fail to brush and floss on a daily basis, but I do not believe that 80% of people do not brush and floss daily.

Therefore, I conclude that the brushing and flossing, while they may be enough to stop gum disease for some people, are not enough for many or possibly the majority of people.

Another thing I would like to mention about gum recession and erosion is to be careful when brushing. Many people, myself included, spent years brushing to hard. Over time, this can erode the gum line, exposing your root surfaces.

The exposed surfaces can become sensitive and they also cost you additional diligence in making sure things don't get worse.

The goal is to preserve your gums and supporting structure so that you can keep all of your natural teeth for your entire life.

If you care to comment back, please do. I'll try to keep up.

Dave Snape,
Author: What You Should Know about Gum Disease

* please note that this post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to offer advice about gum disease. If you have or think you might have gum disease or any other oral health problem visit your periodontist, dentist or doctor for advice, diagnosis and treatment.
posted by davems at 9:46 AM on August 26, 2007

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