How Does a Water Flosser Work

water flosser large

Just like regular floss, a water flosser is one of the top tools for protecting and improving the health of your teeth and gums.

Plaque is a common problem for oral health, capable of accumulating on the teeth over time and causing problems like gum disease, cavities and more. Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable using a string of floss to get rid of any buildup.

For some people, using a water flosser could be a more comfortable and better alternative to string floss. This oral health tool uses pressure and water to clean the spaces between your teeth, as well as around your gums. Simply put, it removes plaque from places your toothbrush just can’t reach. But how does a water flosser work? We’re here to guide you through all topics concerning water flossers and answer any questions you may have.

The Basics

The cleaning power behind water flossers exists in a combination of carefully managed pulsations and high water pressure. These easy-to-use products direct a precise stream of water between your teeth that acts like the dental floss used for the more traditional flossing method.

With a water flosser, you can carefully remove unwanted debris from between your teeth without struggling to hold onto a piece of string. Your Waterpik or water flosser could be an excellent way to clean away plaque, and you may find it easier to use, as well. You can even adjust the pressure setting you’re using to work on more sensitive areas.

man brushing teethSome people love water flossing for oral hygiene because it’s easy to use and gets into difficult places around the gum line. You can also use this technology to get into the spaces between tightly packed teeth. There’s some discussion around whether water flossing may keep your breath fresher for longer too, although that’s still under debate.

There are, however, some possible downsides to water flossing. When you first get started, it’s difficult to figure out if you’re getting all the bacteria and plaque that’s lingering on your teeth. You’ll need to experiment with the settings, and the water spray can be very messy.

How Well Do Water Flossers Clean Teeth?

A water flossing machine isn’t an effective alternative to a dentist-recommended toothbrush and a full cleaning routine. Good oral hygiene still relies on you using your brush regularly to remove stains and food residue. However, a water flosser can be a great way to boost the quality of your clean after brushing.

After using a toothbrush, there are still little particles and bits of bacteria left behind from throughout the day, which can harm the enamel of your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day, as recommended by your dentist, is the first step to protecting your teeth. However, flossing is crucial too. Flossing helps to get into the nooks and crannies you can’t reach with a brush.

Unfortunately, most people avoid using traditional string floss because they find it so uncomfortable and complicated. This is where a Waterpik or flosser can be just as effective at removing excess plaque every day as traditional flossing string. You just need to make sure that you’re using it correctly.

How Do You Use a Water Flosser?

Water flossers are designed to be simple and effective. However, different water flossers may come with unique features and abilities. To get the most out of your dental floss experience, make sure you read the instructions before you start.

  • When you’re ready to use your water flosser, fill the water reservoir. Most people prefer to use warm water.
  • Place the reservoir into the device’s base and make sure your water flosser is plugged in. You might need to adjust the pressure of your oral irrigator before you get started. If you’re new to using a water floss system to remove food particles, start with a gentle setting and gradually adjust it to a higher level when necessary.
  • Lean over the sink to reduce the mess – water flossing is a lot messier than traditional floss.
  • Place the tip of the water flossing machine back into your mouth with the lips closed, and switch the machine on.
  • Many people start with their back teeth, as this is often the easiest process. Focus on hitting the gum line, the top of each tooth and the space between each tooth. Pull the flosser forward gradually and remember to pause frequently so the water can flow.
  • When you’re done getting rid of any food and plaque, turn the machine off, and eject the chip. You should find some instructions on cleaning your machine within the information booklet before you put it away.

Do You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Using a Waterpik?

There are varying opinions on whether you should brush your teeth before or after. Some will say to brush your teeth before to loosen any debris and improve the effectiveness of your water flosser. In contrast, others argue that flossing afterwards will wash away protective elements of your toothpaste. Ask your dentist, which they recommend.

How Many Times a Day Should You Use a WaterPik?

Most dentists will recommend using your water flosser at least once a day, and it should not be used to replace your daily brushing. However, depending on your dental health, you should speak to your dentist to see if you should be using it more frequently.

Is a Waterpik as Good as Flossing?

dental flossWater flossing is still a relatively mysterious concept to some people. However, the information available is growing. The good news is that the American Dental Association recognises water flossers as a valuable way to care for your teeth.

The best flossers are the ones with the ADA seal of acceptance, so it’s important to look for that when you’re searching through the many device options available. Some studies still state that water flossing might not get rid of as much plaque as when you use string floss, however.

While water flossers are effective, they might not be as useful if you don’t take the time to learn how to use them properly. You don’t have to throw your traditional floss away just because you’ve found something new. Most dentists will still recommend using standard string floss for many people.

When is a Water Flosser a Good Idea?

Using a water flosser is a great way to achieve a more thorough clean than you would with only your standard toothbrush. However, water flossers aren’t the right choice for everyone. Some people are more likely to benefit from this process than others. For instance, a water flosser could be good for your oral health if:

You struggle with traditional flossing and you’re not sure how to remove plaque with string floss as well as you should. If you don’t think your dental strategy is working well, you could be leaving food behind.

You have orthodontic work or braces. Orthodontic work and dental care that includes braces can make it difficult to follow dentist instructions for good flossing. Since it’s important to use some kind of flossing, you might find that water flossers are easier for you than dental floss.

You don’t have the straightest teeth. If you don’t have braces, but you also don’t have the straightest dentition, then you might struggle to get dental floss between each tooth for proper cleaning. If this is the case, a water flosser might be your best bet to really get to avoid gum disease.

Should You Get a Water Flosser?

couple smilingSome people simply choose water flossers over standard flossing because they hate how string floss feels. To protect yourself against gum disease and other problems, some kind of flossing strategy is necessary. Working on your dental health with a Waterpik is better for your mouth and gums than no floss at all.

Your dentist will generally recommend taking care of your gum line and teeth with one of the leading water flossers if you struggle with traditional options. However, if you can care for your dental health just as well with string floss, dentists may recommend a healthy flossing and toothbrush routine without the additional tools.

If you’re not sure how to best care for your teeth, talk to your dentist about your oral health needs. They should be able to give you information on the kind of daily dental work you need to pay better attention to, like flossing.

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