Do you find yourself forgetting to floss some days? You’re not alone. Just half of Americans floss daily, and 18.5% don’t floss at all. Even if we don’t always remember to do it, flossing is an important part of our daily routine. Floss gets to places between your teeth and in the spaces between your teeth and gums your toothbrush can’t reach. But is dental floss your only option?
Water flosser – what is it?
A water flosser, sometimes called a water pick, is an oral irrigator. That means it’s a cleaning device that shoots a thin stream of water, and when aimed between your teeth or at the gumline it can remove food particles and plaque on or between your teeth. The most popular version is made by Waterpik.
Oral irrigation tools are also more effective ways to irrigate pockets ob plaque between the sides of teeth and the inside of the gums, because they flush out bacteria without making the gums bleed.
Who should use a water flosser?
- People with gum disease and bleeding gums
- If you have some hard to clean areas that continue to bleed despite good flossing, water flossers can be a great way to clean these problem areas. Water flossers clean these areas with persistent gum inflammation well enough to see a noticeable reduction in inflammation and bleeding, which is the goal of treatment to address gum disease.
- People with braces
- Water flossers are great for those with braces who tend to get more food particles stuck in their teeth. Not only does that feel gross and irritating, it increases your risk for cavities when you don’t clean them out.
- People that always get food stuck in their teeth
- Some people just get more food stuck in their teeth than others. It probably has more to do with the shape of your teeth. People with small gaps where their teeth and gums meet are more likely to have that problem. It can also happen when you’re teeth aren’t perfectly aligned. That’s usually due to genetics, and those rotated or crowded teeth can create pesky food traps. Food can also get stuck around some dental work like bridges and dental implants, and water flossers can be a big help to clean these harder to reach places.
How to use a water flosser
8 Simple Steps for Using a Water Flosser
- Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water and place it on the base, pressing down firmly to ensure full seating.
- Select the tip and press firmly into the handle.
- If this is the first use, set the pressure control dial to high. Point the tip into the sink and turn on until water flows. Turn unit off.
- Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure)
- Lean over the sink and place tip in mouth.
- Turn unit on. Close lips to prevent splashing, while allowing water to flow from mouth into sink.
- Start with the back teeth and pause briefly between teeth, aiming the tip just above the gumline at a 90 degree angle.
- When finished, turn unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.