31 Jan
flossing - happy woman using dental water flosser cleaning her teeth

Water Flosser and Its Benefits

Water Flosssing For Better Oral Hygiene

Water flossing can be a great method for cleaning tight spaces between your teeth and around your gumline to help prevent cavities and periodontal disease. It is especially effective if you have trouble brushing hard-to-reach areas in your mouth by hand, have braces, implant crown or have a dental bridge. Learn more about this interdental cleaning routine and how it can supplement regular dental floss for best results.

What is Power Water Flosser?

A water flosser, also called an oral irrigator or water pick, is a handheld power interdental cleaning device that uses a stream of pulsating water that is angled toward the gum line and in between teeth ensuring a thorough interdental cleaning experience. Regular use of water flosser in conjunction with brushing and flossing aids in removing plaque and food particles, decreasing bacteria in the mouth, and reducing the risk of gum disease.

Water Flosser

This video shows how to properly use a water flosser and how it promotes oral health.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Water Flosser?

Water flossers allow you to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from hard-to-reach places. By being able to clean thoroughly in those often-overlooked places, the water flosser reduces your chances of developing periodontal disease.

In addition, the water stream massages the gum tissue, which in turn increases circulation, boosts cellular health and decreases bleeding and gum inflammation.

A water flosser aids in flushing debris out of braces, bridges, crowns, implants, and other dental restorations better than just brushing and flossing. This can help to eliminate build-up, potentially prolonging the life of certain types of dental restorations and preventing enamel demineralization caused by poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatments such as braces.

Moreover, patients with less dexterity tend to find water flossers easier to use than most other interdental cleaners.

Do I Still Need To Floss?

Yes! Water flossing should never be used as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, but it is a great supplement to your daily routine. Using string dental floss and a water flosser together will provide the most thorough interdental cleaning and oral hygiene.

Can Water Flossing Cause Recession or Damage to Teeth or Crowns?

No, water flossing does not cause gum recession nor damage to teeth or crowns. On the contrary, water flossing aids in flushing debris out of bridges, crowns, implants, braces, and other dental restoration better than brushing and flossing alone which can extend the lifespan of your dental restorations.

Is Water Flosser Suitable For Sensitive Teeth?

Most water flossers have adjustable speeds; if you have sensitive teeth, we recommend using warm water for comfort. Moreover, proper water pressure is important when you are new to water flossing. Begin on the lowest pressure setting to see how it feels on your gums. As your gums adapt, you can gradually increase the pressure to your comfort level, and it should not hurt as you do so.

Can I Use Essential Oils or Mouthwash Instead of Water?

It is not recommended to use essential oils in the reservoir; however, mouthwash can be mixed with water and used in the reservoir. After using mouthwash, rinse the device to prevent clogging by partially filling reservoir with warm water and running product with tip pointed into sink until reservoir is empty.

How To Use a Water Flosser?

  1. Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water.
  2. Place the nozzle in your mouth, lean over the sink and start with the lowest water pressure setting and work your way up - ensure the pressure is high enough but comfortable. Start in the molar area by directing the water at your gum line and areas between teeth. Hold the water over each tooth for about three seconds, repeating the process on the inside and outside of your teeth until your whole mouth is treated.
  3. Once you are done water flossing, turn off the device, remove the nozzle and drain the remaining water. Leaving standing water in the reservoir can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

How Do I Clean and Maintain the Water Flosser?

To keep your water flosser functioning properly, the device needs to be cleaned once a week. Follow the cleaning instructions as described below.

  • Reservoir and lid: Gently remove the reservoir from the unit. The reservoir can be hand washed with warm water and mild soap or cleaned in the dishwasher.
  • Base and handle: When necessary, you can clean the outside of the base and the handle with a soft cloth and mild soap.
  • Nozzles: Remove the nozzle from the handle. Rinse the tip under warm water. Every few months, or if your nozzle becomes clogged: Soak the nozzle in a container of 2 parts water and 1-part white vinegar for 5 minutes. Rinse the nozzle with warm water.
  • Internal components, hose, and handle: Fill the reservoir with warm water and add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Remove the handle, point the nozzle at the sink and turn on the product to run the solution through the unit until the reservoir is empty. Rinse by repeating with a full reservoir of clean warm water.

How Often Do I Change the Nozzle, and Can the Base be Shared With a Family Member?

It is recommended the nozzle be replaced every six months. The base can be shared by family members but every individual needs to have their own nozzle.

Does the Water Flosser Remove Stains, Plaque and Tartar?

The water flosser removes biofilm, but it does not remove stain nor tartar which can be removed by your dental hygienist during your dental prophylaxis appointment using power scaler and polishing.

Do You Have Trouble Cleaning Your Teeth?

For more advice on water flossing or oral hygiene in general please give us a call or schedule an appointment online with one of our dental hygienists or Dr. Tufa. We are here to help!

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Ela Solimeno

Ela is a dental hygienist who is committed to building long-lasting relationships with patients, making their hygiene appointments a comfortable and positive experience and educating them about the importance of oral health for the overall well-being.