Does Water Flossing Work? Get to Know the Waterpik®

water flossing

Whether you’re trying to floss more regularly or are curious about upgrading your health regimen, water flossers are great additions to your dental care routine. From treating gum disease to cleaning around dental hardware, water flossers provide a thorough clean without the hassle of managing dental floss.

Wondering if water flossing is right for you? Here’s our quick guide to Waterpik®, how to use them, and how to incorporate them into your dental care.

What is a Waterpik®?

Waterpik® is a simple handheld device used for cleaning food particles and plaque from around the teeth. To remove lingering food particles from your teeth, water flossing shoots a thin pressurized stream of water in between teeth, which dislodges remaining particles. Waterpik® is refillable, and must be plugged into an outlet to be used. This makes them slightly less portable than standard dental floss, although they are generally considered much easier to wield. Waterpik® is gentler than regular dental floss, so are favored by those struggling with tender or bleeding gums.

How do You Use a Waterpik®?

Once you’ve filled the tank and plugged in your Waterpik®, it’s easy to direct the stream of water to thoroughly clean your teeth. Remember to take your time so each tooth gets cleaned as you go.

For the most effective clean, we recommend starting with the Waterpik® at the back of the mouth and moving forward. The stream of water should be directed towards the gum line and in between teeth, where most bits of food or plaque are built up.

Water Flossing vs. Floss

Waterpik® should not be used as a replacement tool for brushing your teeth and flossing with standard floss. Although they are gentle and easy to use, water flossers lack the thoroughness of standard floss.

Pros of the Waterpik®

Water flossing enables you to clean in-between your teeth even with bulky hardware or tender gums.

Although water flossing should not replace your other dental care routines, they still provide significant benefits. Waterpik® is gentle, and therefore is a preferable tool for those with a tender mouth or gum disease. For the right patient, they are an excellent way to gain some of the benefits of flossing without the discomfort of bleeding gums.

Waterpik® is also excellent at cleaning around semi-permanent dental appliances like braces or dental bridges. Because they are easy to manipulate and reach far into the mouth, Waterpik® provides easier access to areas that are difficult to reach.

Cons of the Waterpik®

Because water flossing is made to provide a gentler clean for your teeth, they may not be as thorough as standard dental floss. Standard floss allows you to scrape plaque from between your teeth and removes food particles efficiently and completely. Water flossing may not effectively remove all bacteria from in-between teeth, which may lead to increased complications down the road.

As previously mentioned, Waterpik® isn’t as portable as standard floss. Although they are fairly compact and require almost no set up, they still may not be the best choice for traveling or for very small spaces.

Who Should Use a Waterpik®?

When paired with other dental hygiene tools, anyone can successfully use a Waterpik® to increase their overall oral health. This being said, water flossing is particularly helpful for individuals with certain health and mobility concerns.

Water flossers are excellent tools for individuals with braces, as they are able to clean around the wires and in between teeth without the hassle of using floss. For this reason, Waterpik® is also excellent for individuals with dental implants, bridges, or other appliances that make flossing awkward or nearly impossible.

Although we do recommend using Waterpik® in addition to standard floss and brushing, they are an excellent replacement for standard floss in cases where flossing is not feasible. For those with arthritis or other mobility complications, using standard floss may not be possible. Waterpik® provides an easy-to-use solution in these circumstances. Waterpik® is also a great solution for patients dealing with dry mouth, since they introduce moisture to the cleaning process.

Upgrade Your Dental Care at Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry

At the end of the day, you want to go into the world with a bright and confident smile. At Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide top-notch care to all our patients. Our team of dentists and hygienists are caring, dedicated, and want to help you improve your dental health in a safe and relaxing environment. Our high-quality facilities and friendly staff are here to ensure you have a positive experience at our office.

Want to upgrade your care routine today? Contact us to schedule your first appointment.