Make it easy – improve compliance

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  Posted by: Dental Design      21st February 2021

One thing that the past year has taught us is that we must persist in pursuit of our goals. As the pandemic has illustrated, preventive efforts to contain the spread of disease and keep people safe is paramount and there is no room for complacency. Nevertheless, we live in a convenient, on-demand society that is driven by technology and we expect fast solutions. This may be one of the reasons why people have become tired of the rules and restrictions relating to COVID-19. Levels of concern, which peaked in March and April 2020, have steadily declined since.[i]

To help tackle the low levels of compliance or ‘pandemic fatigue’ the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a policy framework designed to reinvigorate public support. It promotes self-efficacy and positive majority behaviours rather than focusing on those that do not follow guidance and recommends that communications and directives should be transparent and as consistent as possible. It also explains that sharing the reasons for protective behaviours, making them easy implement and avoiding constant changes is more likely to ensure measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus become the social norm. [ii]

Most dental professionals would agree that increasing patient compliance is one of the most challenging aspects of practice. Researchers continue to provide evidence of a connection between oral health and systemic health and as specialists in disease prevention, dental professionals are required to adopt a wide range of strategies to increase good oral hygiene behaviours. It is widely recognised that patient compliance relies on good communication and education to increase oral health knowledge. Yet, as the aforementioned WHO policy explains, it is important to understand people, recognise the difficulties they experience and involve them in something positive.Ii

In parallel, clinicians have to discover why their patient’s find it hard to comply with oral health instructions and engage them with the reasons and solutions for implementing beneficial change. For example, interdental cleaning is possibly one of the most significant barriers to good oral health. Although most patients know that brushing the teeth only removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, only around 30 percent of British adults floss their teeth daily.[iii] Some patients make excuses and complain that interdental brushes make their gums bleed for example, or that string floss is tricky and far too time-consuming to use, which prevents them from flossing regularly. Very often it can seem as if the profession is fighting a losing battle but by acknowledging the problems that people experience and by creating innovative oral healthcare products, Waterpik® supports dental teams with easy to use, clinically proven solutions.

The Waterpik® Water Flosser uses a combination of water pressure and pulsations to clean deep between the teeth, below the gumline and into areas that traditional brushing and flossing cannot reach.  It is very simple to use and it delivers great results – removing up to 99.9% of biofilm from treated areas after just 3 seconds.[iv] Since its inception over 55 years ago, the Waterpik® Water Flosser has been the subject of over 75 research studies and as an adjunct to tooth brushing, water flossing is regarded as a quick, easy and effective way for patients to remove plaque biofilm and improve gingival health that is unequivocally safe.[v]

The Waterpik® Water Flosser is accredited by the Oral Health Foundation and is available in many different styles and sizes. For instance, the large counter top units are practical for families, compact models are ideal for smaller spaces and the waterproof cordless range makes flossing effortless in the shower, in bathrooms without a power outlet or when travelling. Meeting a range of oral health needs is what makes Waterpik® oral healthcare products so successful and there is also a range of specifically designed tips to effectively clean around dental implants, orthodontic appliances and into periodontal pockets.

When things are made simple people are more easily able to persist with measures to improve or protect their health. Similarly, by implementing strategies that appeal to our culture for technology and convenience, it is possible that compliance towards protective behaviours to prevent disease may be more successful.


For more information on Waterpik® products please visit Waterpik® products are available from Amazon, Asda, Costco UK, Argos, Boots Superdrug online and in stores across the UK and Ireland. 

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[i] Smilth L.E. et al. Adherence to test, trace and isolate system: results for a time series of 21 nationally representive surveys in the UK (the COVID-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses [CORSAIR] study). BMJ MedRxiv 2020.09.15. 20191957 [Accessed 2nd November 2020]

[ii] World Health Organisation. Pandemic fatigue. Reinvigorating the public to prevent COVID-19. Policy framework for supporting pandemic prevention and management. [Accessed 2nd November 2020]

[iii] YouGov. Brushing Teeth. October 2017. [Accessed 2nd November 2020]

[iv] Gorur A. et al. Biofilm removal with a dental water jet. Compend Contin Ed Dent. 30(Special Iss 1):1–6. [Accessed 2nd November 2020]

[v] Jolkovsky D.L. et al. Safety of water flosser: a literature review. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2015 Feb;36(2):146-9. [Accessed 2nd November 2020]

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