If visiting a dentist twice per year is already part of your dental care regimen, you probably already know that you should be flossing daily. Flossing is widely regarded as an essential complement to brushing, as even the most diligent tooth-brusher will miss areas between their teeth.
Traditional string floss isn’t a perfect solution for everyone; fortunately, water flossing is a highly effective alternative. Water flossing devices (such as the WaterPik) are also referred to as oral irrigators or pulsing oral irrigators. Today, we’ll discuss the practical uses of this kind of machine and who it may benefit.
Using a Water Flosser
Water flossers are intended to be used to clean between your teeth, along your gum line, and below dental restorations such as bridges and implants. Water flossers include three main components: the reservoir, the handle, and the tip. Depending on your model, several tips and system settings will be provided; follow instructions provided by the manufacturer and your dentist to determine which will work best for you.
To use the device, you will fill the reservoir with warm or lukewarm water, select a pressure setting, and then hold the handle while angling the tip along your gum line. You will want to lean over the sink with your mouth open slightly to allow water to drain as you work along your teeth. The pressure from the device blasts plaque and debris away, providing a deep-clean feeling similar to traditional flossing.
Who is a Good Candidate for Water Flossing?
If you have difficulty using string floss or floss picks, you may be a good candidate for this modern alternative. Our Evanston dentists sometimes recommend this as an alternative to patients who visit our office. Good candidates may include:
- People with arthritis who have trouble maneuvering string floss
- People with braces that are unable to work dental floss through their teeth
- People who currently have or have a history of gum disease
- People who have characteristically dry mouths
- People with dental implants or bridges
Are Water Flossers Better than String Floss?
If you are able to use traditional floss, our Evanston dentists may not recommend water flossing exclusively. Traditional string floss is still considered the most effective solution for cleaning between the average person’s teeth. String floss can scrape up and down each of your teeth and more effectively break down hardened buildups of plaque. Water flossing does provide more below-the-gumline cleaning power, which can make it a preferable option for certain patients with relevant conditions.
Contact Our Evanston Dentists
Taking great care of your teeth will help them look their best for years to come. If you are seeking to improve your dental hygiene regimen, we would love to help! During your next teeth cleaning, our Evanston dentists can answer your questions and provide you with personalized solutions for your unique smile. Our team is experienced and knowledgeable in many practice areas including restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Contact us today.