A Waterpik Water Flosser is a wonderful gadget that is used to flush out food debris from around the teeth and gums. Water pulsates out of a specialized tip that you then trace around your gum line in a pattern. It dilutes nasty acids and toxins and over time it stimulates swollen, unhealthy gums, healing them and keeping them firm and tight around the neck of the tooth, which helps to keep out invading food particles and harmful bacteria. Water Flossers are clinically proven to reduce gingivitis, remove plaque, and improve gum health.
Using the Water Flosser and traditional string floss together achieves the best result, however some people do very well with a Water Flosser alone. Some people have trouble using floss. Those with tight teeth or dexterity issues, such as arthritis, may find a Water Flosser beneficial and easier to use than traditional floss. It’s also a wonderful way to clean around braces, implants and bridges. Regular flossing is an important way to clean the vulnerable enamel between teeth, and it goes a long way toward preventing tooth decay. It can also help detect a specific problem — like a broken tooth, a rough filling or a loose crown.
We always let our patients know there is a slight learning curve when beginning to use a Waterpik. Starting at the lowest setting, or pressure level, and working your way up is best. Most Waterpiks have 6-10 settings, and you may feel a pinching sensation if the pressure level is too high. (If it pinches or hurts, then you are not yet ready for that setting). Most people say it feels best to use warm water. The Water Flosser should be placed near a sink and needs access to a wall plug-in. Water may spill out at first, so keep a towel handy just in case. With practice, using a Waterpik will become second nature, and it feels so good. Many patients are absolutely amazed at how much debris is flushed out even though they have just brushed and flossed!
A good counter top model should hold about 16 ounces of water and costs about $60. (They can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including Costco, Target, or Amazon).
For additional tips, please enjoy watching the attached videos on how to use a Water Flosser:
Author: Christianne Cassinelli, R.D.H.