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Does a Water Flosser (Waterpik) replace flossing?

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

What is a Water Flosser? An appliance made of a motor, water reservoir and a water flosser tip. The stream of water is pressurized creating a pulsating water to flow from the reservoir through the tip and into the mouth removing plaque, food particles, and bacteria in an effective way. It is more effective, comfortable and easier than traditional floss.

Why Choose a Water Flosser?

If you don’t like floss, don’t floss often, find string floss hard to use or have decreased manual dexterity, a water flosser can be the answer.

  • Water flossers is a good option for people who have trouble with traditional flossing

  • Waterpik® is a Water Flosser brand clinically proven to reduce gingivitis, remove plaque, and improve gum health.

  • Useful for cleaning braces, bridges, crowns, and dental implants.

  • Helpful for people with reduced dexterity (such as arthritis).

What About Toothbrushing? A water flosser doesn't replace your toothbrush or traditional flossing. You still need to brush your teeth twice a day, but you can use the water flosser before or after.

It is an alternative to floss, interdental brushes, or floss threaders by removing plaque and debris that a tooth brush leaves behind.

Is Water Flossing Messy? Compared to string floss, water flossing is easier and doesn't require you to put your hands in your mouth. The correct technique is the key. Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water, then put the flosser tip in your mouth and lean over the sink to avoid a mess. Hold the handle at a 90-degree angle to your teeth and spray. Water comes out in steady pulses, cleaning between your teeth. Start at the back and work your way around your mouth. Focus on the top of your teeth, the gum line, and the spaces between each tooth. The process should take about 2 minutes. Empty any extra water from the reservoir when you're done so bacteria doesn't grow inside.

Is Water Flossing as Good as Dental Floss? Studies show that water flossers remove plaque, the film that turns into tartar and leads to cavities and gum disease. But some studies find water flossers don't remove plaque as well as traditional floss. Don't throw away your traditional dental floss just to try something new. Most dentists still consider regular flossing the best way to clean between your teeth. The old-fashioned stuff lets you scrape up and down the sides of your teeth to remove plaque. If it gets stuck in small spaces, try waxed floss or dental tape. Flossing might be uncomfortable at first if you're not in the habit, but it should get easier. Consider a water flosser if you have trouble using dental floss. Ask your dentist if it's a good idea to switch to a water flosser or add it to your routine.


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