Phone (513) 251-5500
February 11th, 2019

Here’s the Right Way to Use Your Water Flosser

Category: cincinnati dentist

the right way to use your water flosser hagen dental practice

Curious about what a water flosser is?

A water flosser is something you can use at home to floss. It allows you to apply slightly pressurized water to your teeth and gumline. In the process, you are able to use that water to remove plaque, food, and bacteria that is left behind—even if you’ve brushed. Not only that, but the pulsating helps to stimulate your gum tissue along the way.

You can think of it as an alternative to traditional flossing methods because it does the same job as flossing!

If you get a water flosser, the appliance kit will come with several features, in most cases. That includes a motor with a pump, a water reservoir, and the actual flosser tip. There are multiple models and types of water flossers—from countertop to cordless to hybrid models—all of which come with varying features, too (1, 2).

Keep reading to see how water flossers compare to traditional flossing methods and how to use your water flosser to maximize its benefits.

Comparing Water Flossing to String Flossing

As you know, brushing your teeth cleans the surface of your teeth. Your toothbrush gets along the gumline as well. String flossing (and other forms of flossing) help to get in between the teeth, and it helps to get plaque around the gumline.

Water flossing is also a great way to reach those areas toothbrushes aren’t able to and it can  be extremely effective at periodontal pocket cleaning.

Consider these stats, too:

  • Water flossing can get rid of 99.9% of plaque from areas where you use it
  • It is as much as two times as effective for implants versus string floss
  • It is three times as effective for braces versus string floss
  • It is 50% more effective for your overall gum health compared with string floss (1, 2)

Those stats are pretty telling of just how great water flossing can be when adding it to your oral health routine. That’s especially the case if you have periodontal disease, dental implants or if you have braces or orthodontics, too.

How to Use Your Water Flosser the Right Way

Many people find water flossing is easier for them and they like how it isn’t messy or hard to do. That, in turn, makes them more likely to floss, which is great for their overall dental health.

If you’re ready to use a water flosser, here is how to do it the right way:

  1. Start by brushing your teeth, as you would normally. Water flossing is a great way to take care of your oral health, but it doesn’t replace brushing your teeth by any means.
  2. Make sure your reservoir is filled with warm water. Place it firmly onto its base.
  3. Choose the tip you are going to use. Click it firmly into the handle.
  4. Now, you can place the flosser tip into your mouth. Close your lips most of the way to avoid any kind of splashing, and begin to lean over the sink.
  5. Turn the unit and water on, and begin to floss along your gumline. If it is the first time you are using your water flosser, feel free to start with the lowest pressure setting so you can see what pressure is going to feel best.
  6. Next, start with your back teeth; pause briefly between your teeth as you move throughout your mouth. Aim right at your gumline as you move throughout the mouth. Be sure to get the front and backside of the teeth. Aim to do so for about one minute per day, unless we tell you otherwise.
  7. As you move, naturally allow water to go from your mouth into the sink.
  8. When done, turn your water flosser off and you can eject the button to remove the tip as needed (1, 2, 3).

As for when you want to replace your tip: in general, the average tip needs to be replaced at least every six months. But depending on the type of tip you choose and use regularly, be sure to see what the instructions say when you first bought it, as some need to be replaced closer to every three months. Those same guides can also be found online, in many cases, if you didn’t take note when you first received your tip.

Have multiple people in the same household using your water flosser? No problem! Use a removable tip so that multiple people can use the same device. When in doubt, you’ll be able to see whose tip is whose from the color code on each tip (1, 2).

toothbrush string floss and water flosser comparison

Is A Water Flosser Right For Me?

Thinking you may want to use a water flosser in the future to clean between your teeth? Ask us if you have more questions and we can guide you to get the appliance that is right for you.

In general, water flossers can be a fit for you if you tend to avoid traditional flossing or if you find it difficult to do. In some cases, if you have a dexterity issue, that’s another reason water flossing may be a great fit for you! In addition, they can be really useful if you orthodontics or braces. They work well to clean bridges, crowns, dental implants and more.

Last, if you have gum disease, you may have a periodontal pockets, which is where your gums have broken down and started to separate away from your teeth. In that situation, those deep spaces can make you more prone to having bacteria multiply (1, 2, 4).

Left unchecked, that can result in issues like tissue, bone, or tooth loss. Water flossing may be a great fit for you if this is the case, so that you can help treat that gum disease and clean the periodontal pockets in a gentle and very effective way.

Ask Us to Learn More About Ways to Floss & All Your Oral Health Needs

All in all, water flossing is a great option to help improve your gum health. As always, ask us questions so we can make recommendations that are specific to you! We’re happy to provide a full range of dental care services to all members of your family. Setup an appointment online or call us at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/buying-guide/what-is-a-water-flosser/
  2. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/how-to-floss/
  3. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/
  4. https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/dental-needs/gum-disease/periodontal-pockets-cleaning-treatment/

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