How to Fight the Gum Disease Epidemic

Dr. Daniel Hassler


Dr. Daniel Hassler, DDS, Doctorate in Health Sciences, is currently a program director at a dental hygiene school on Long Island, NY. His specialty is cognitive power and aging. When you meet Dr. Hassler, he immediately wants you to know that he loves his profession and that he wants to work far beyond retirement age.

Why do you love dentistry so much?

I'm a very happy person, and I love the fact that I can help so many people. The population of older people is larger than ever and that number will continue to grow as folks live longer. Oral health care is of utmost importance because 75 percent of Americans have some sort of gum disease, or as it is known professionally, periodontal disease. It must be treated.

What's the best way to treat gum disease?

The Waterpik® Water Flosser is the best tool because the company has clinical studies to back me up. The Water Flosser has buttons for flossing and massaging. These are two important steps that should be taken when you treat gum disease. It is all done for you by the Waterpik® Water Flosser.

Do people really like devices to floss?

This is a gadget-oriented world. People love gadgets. This is an extraordinary gadget to add to their collection. It is very user friendly and it does the job in a short time. Up to ninety-nine percent of the plaque is removed from treated areas because the Waterpik® Water Flosser has the pressure to remove plaque. It allows you to adjust the pressure just the way you want it.

How difficult is it to get older people to use the Waterpik® Water Flosser?

This is the perfect tool for people who have limited mobility, especially folks with arthritis. Most of this group can’t wrap string floss around their fingers, much less manipulate it around their teeth. It is just too difficult. The same thing holds true for anyone with carpal tunnel, sprains, and breaks. The Waterpik® Water Flosser is an invention that eliminates the challenges of flossing for anyone with dexterity issues. Some of these patients have told me that this product is as appreciated as their smartphones.

How often should people brush and floss?

The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day I try to encourage older patients to adhere to this schedule. While they are not prone to cavities (this starts decreasing after the age of 30), everyone is susceptible to gum problems. If you have experienced any form of gum disease, you know how painful it can be. It also becomes a major expense to get under control. The Waterpik® Water Flosser is extremely affordable when you consider the alternative.

What else can seniors do to maintain good oral health?

Be positive. The older folks who lead productive and active lives are more apt to have healthier gums because they are dedicated to keeping themselves as healthy as possible. They exercise, eat right, and eagerly go through the paces of what it takes to keep them energized, passionate, relevant, and happy. We all have health challenges no matter how much we try to be perfect. The basic idea is to have the discipline to control whatever we possibly can. The same holds true for me. I go on long walks every day in order to maintain my own health situations. It’s a choice we all have to make. If you get the option to control the possibility of ill-health, take it. We all have a lot of living to do.

The views and opinions expressed in these interviews are those of the dental professional interviewed, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Water Pik, Inc. Results may vary based on your dental health, use of the product, and other potential factors.