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How to Use a Water Flosser

Is there more to flossing than just running a strand of waxed thread between your teeth?

While brushing your teeth helps get rid of any plaque, it doesn’t reach between your teeth. Between your teeth is where bacteria tends to breed most, giving way to the development of most cavities and gum disease. This is why it is important to not just brush but also floss each day to clean between your teeth.

Water flossers (sometimes called hydro flossers or Waterpiks, which is a popular brand,) are a flossing alternative that uses a steady stream of water to clean between teeth and below the gums. It is a gentle and effective way to complement your regular dental care routine.

Using a water flosser can take a bit of practice, but with time it’s a great way to boost your oral health.

  • Choose the right one that best suits your needs. They come with various tips or nozzles designed for different purposes.
  • In the beginning, plan for a mess. Make sure you’re leaning over the sink or using your device in the shower to prevent any spray across the bathroom.
  • Keep your head tilted down, with your lips slightly open so that excess water can drip into the drain. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to look up in the mirror!
  • Manoeuvre the tip along each tooth, tracing the gumlines and then pausing for a couple of seconds between teeth.
  • Adjust the pressure as needed. Start with the setting somewhere in the middle, then work your way up or down based on how comfortable you are. If it hurts, turn the pressure down. You can expect it to feel like a light tickle, but the more used to it you are the less sensitive your mouth will feel.
  • Be sure to aim the stream of water towards the gumlines, but not straight down into them. A 45-degree angle is adequate.
  • Use slightly warm or lukewarm tap water in your device, to avoid sensitivity.

Remember, a water flosser is a fantastic addition to your dental hygiene routine but it’s not a replacement for regular brushing.

At Purity Dental, we are strong advocates of flossing regularly to maintain good oral health but it’s even more important that you floss correctly. Our Mulgrave dentists recommend water flossers to our patients who have trouble flossing, dexterity challenges, difficult restorations to clean (such as bridges), orthodontic appliances, or gum pockets that traditional floss can’t reach. Since water flossers can reach several millimetres, they can be more effective than floss in some cases.

Is a water flosser right for you? Ask about the different benefits and design options the next time you’re at Purity Dental. Schedule your check and clean today!