I do my best to keep my teeth and gums in good shape, but as I’m sure many of you know, sometimes it’s easier said than done! But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that your good intentions won’t save you from the the disapproval of your dental hygienist! Last time I had a dentist appointment, we were going over my flossing habits when the hygienist asked me if I had ever used a water flosser. I told her I had heard of them before, but hadn’t tried one yet. She had such great things to say about them that I went online and bought one that same day!
I’ve now been using my water flosser for several months, and I’ve been loving it so much that I simply have to tell you all about it! :-) In today’s post, I’ll give the scoop on what water flossers are and a bit about how they work. You’ll also learn how water flossing compares to string flossing, and whether a water flosser might be a good choice for you!
What Is A Water Flosser & How Does It Work?
A water flosser is a small machine that produces a thin jet of pulsing water. When aimed at your gums and teeth, the water can dislodge bits of food and plaque that may be lurking between your teeth. The water also helps stimulate your gums, which can help protect against gum disease!
But do water flossers work as well as string floss? From the research I’ve done, it appears the consensus is somewhere between “they’re equally as effective” and “one is only slightly more effective than the other.” However, every dentist and hygienist would agree that any method of flossing is better than not doing it at all! And since many people (including myself!) find that they much prefer using a water flosser to using string floss, many dentists are now recommending water flossers to their patients.
How To Use A Water Flosser
There’s a bit of a learning curve to using a water flosser, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy! I use mine every day without fail, because it’s so quick and easy to do. Here’s how it’s done!
Start by filling the water reservoir with lukewarm water. Cold water is a no-no, because it can easily aggravate sensitive teeth (and teeth with normal sensitivity, for that matter!)
Next, you’ll choose a sprayer tip to use. Some types of water flossers come with different types of tips that are better for people with braces, gum disease, etc. If none of the special tips apply to your situation, choose the normal sprayer tip.
Put the tip of the flosser inside your mouth and turn it on. (DON’T turn it on before you’ve put it in your mouth, or the water will go everywhere!) Move the tip around your mouth, targeting your gums as well as the spaces between your teeth on both the front and back sides.
Most people hold their head above the sink while using the water flosser, keeping their mouth slightly open to allow the water to drip into the sink. I personally prefer to close my lips around the tip and floss until my mouth is full and then spit it out. I do that 3-4 times until all the water is gone. Once you’re finished, simply turn it off and brush as usual. Simple!
As far as when you should use a water flosser, there’s no right or wrong time to do it. But many people prefer to do their water flossing at the end of the day, before they brush their teeth. That way, the water flosser loosens up any bits of food that may have gotten stuck in your teeth, then you can brush them away with your toothbrush. This nightly flossing/brushing routine leaves my mouth feeling super clean!
Which Water Flosser Is Right For You?
There are many different kinds of water flossers to choose from, with the Waterpik brand being the most notable. Several of their water flossers have been given the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association, signifying that they are effective at reducing both plaque and gingivitis. Here’s a bit about the model I own, as well as a few other recommendations you may find helpful.
My Pick: Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser
My favorite thing about this water flosser is that I can take it wherever I go. Countertop models are not very travel-friendly, but this one makes it easy. I also like the simple magnetic charger it uses. I would highly recommend this model to anyone!
Best For At-Home Use: Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
This is the classic countertop model from Waterpik, and it is comes at an affordable price. It does need to be plugged in to operate.
Best For Kids: Waterpik Water Flosser For Kids
This is a great kid-sized flosser that may actually get your kids to floss their teeth regularly! Plus it’s very affordable, which is a nice bonus.
Best On A Budget: ProFloss Water Flosser
If affordability is your priority, it doesn’t get much cheaper than this! This model doesn’t have a water reservoir, but hooks onto your faucet instead. That means less countertop clutter too!
I hope this information has been helpful to you! I’ve really enjoyed using my water flosser, and my dental checkups have been better than ever because of it. I would definitely recommend one to anyone who has trouble remembering to use string floss as often as they should!