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What Is a Waterpik Flosser?

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What Is a Waterpik Flosser?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for a healthy body, and innovative dental technologies are continually emerging to assist people with this. One such addition to the oral health toolkit is the Waterpik flosser. Designed to complement traditional brushing and flossing, the Waterpik flosser has garnered significant attention for its efficiency and user-friendly approach for people who have trouble with traditional flossing.

The Waterpik flosser is a handheld device that uses a pressurized stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gumline. Since it uses water instead of making you root around in your mouth with a bit of floss, it has become a popular choice for those aiming to support their dental hygiene. It will not replace your dentist, but could be another good tool in your belt.

How Does the Waterpik Flosser Work?

The Waterpik flosser distinguishes itself from traditional flossing methods with its innovative approach that combines the power of water pressure with precision tips to cleanse challenging areas in the mouth. It will not replace a toothbrush or traditional flossing completely, but it can complement an oral health routine.

Unlike conventional floss that involves manual dexterity, the Waterpik flosser requires the user to direct the water stream into the spaces between teeth and along the gums, dislodging plaque and food particles. This method may offer a gentler and often more enjoyable flossing experience for many people.

The Waterpik flosser may be particularly beneficial for individuals with orthodontic appliances, dental work, or who may not have the dexterity for traditional flossing. However, traditional flossing is still the gold standard and should not be replaced without consultation with a dental professional.

Benefits of the Waterpik Flosser

The Waterpik flosser touts numerous advantages for users committed to a comprehensive oral care regimen. The Canadian Dental Association seal statement says the Waterpik flosser can:

  • Remove up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas
  • Be up to 50% more effective at improving gum health compared to string floss
  • Be up to 2 times more effective for improving gum health around implants
  • Be up to 3 times more effective for removing plaque around braces

How to Use a Waterpik Flosser

Just like any tool, proper use of a Waterpik flosser is essential to reap the full benefits. Here is a step-by-step guide to incorporating the Waterpik flosser into your daily routine.

  1. Prepare the Device: Fill the Waterpik’s reservoir with lukewarm water and select the appropriate nozzle tip for your needs.
  2. Positioning: Lean over the sink with the tip in your mouth, ensuring that any water splashes are contained.
  3. Initiating the Stream: Turn the device on, starting with the lowest pressure setting, and allow the water to flow through the mouthpiece to ensure proper function.
  4. Flossing: With the flosser tip at a 90-degree angle to your teeth, begin at the back of the mouth, working your way around each arch and pausing in between teeth to clean the gum line thoroughly.
  5. Adjusting Pressure: Customise the pressure setting to a level that feels comfortable yet effective in cleaning the teeth and gums.
  6. Cleaning the Device: After each use, remove the nozzle and run the device to clear out any remaining water. Periodic cleaning of the Waterpik is also recommended to prevent bacterial buildup.

Additional Tips for Noticeable Results

  • Use the Waterpik flosser at least once a day, ideally in the evening to remove the day’s accumulation of plaque.
  • Regularly replace the nozzle tips as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain maximum hygiene and effectiveness.
  • Start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase the intensity as your gums become accustomed to the sensation.

Comparing Water Flossers with Traditional Flossing

While the Waterpik flosser offers unique benefits, it is important to understand its role alongside traditional flossing.

Traditional flossing involves manual scraping against the tooth’s surface, which some studies show can lead to more effective removal of plaque. However, water flossing can be a better option for those who require a gentler approach or have dental implants. Water flossers can also help reduce bleeding while cleaning teeth.

For the most comprehensive clean, consider using both water flossing and traditional flossing in your routine. Water flossing can precede or follow traditional flossing to help address all dental surfaces.

Book Your Professional Cleaning

The Waterpik flosser presents a compelling addition to the traditional oral hygiene repertoire. It offers a user-friendly method for promoting oral health, especially for those with specific dental care needs. By understanding its advantages and proper use, you can harness the full potential of the Waterpik flosser in your daily dental regimen.

Our Dentistry on Danforth team can offer specific advice on incorporating the Waterpik flosser into your routine, especially if you have unique dental health concerns. If you are curious about water flossers, contact us today. And remember to book your professional teeth cleaning so we can help keep your smile radiant.

Written by Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos

Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Toronto in 1992 after completing 3 years of biochemistry and the 4-year program in dentistry. He enjoys continuing education and has attended numerous rehabilitative and cosmetic dentistry programs, including courses taught by Dr. John Kois.

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