11May2020

Hygiene at Home: Water Flossers

If flossing has been your New Years Resolution for the past 30 years and you still haven’t got it down, but you also care about your teeth, we’ve got a solution for you: flossing with a water flosser!

A water flosser uses pressure and water to get in and around the surfaces that your toothbrush won’t reach. The most well-known and studied brand of water flossers is called the Waterpik.

Some studies have shown that a Waterpik is even more effective at reducing bleeding and removing plaque from treated areas vs traditional flossing. Now, we’ll note here that traditional flossing is effective if done correctly and consistently. Traditional flossing is also very technique sensitive and may be extra difficult if you have issues with hand dexterity, have a lot of dental work that shreds and breaks your floss, aren’t using an effective product, or because, well, you aren’t flossing at all. In that case, a Waterpik could be a potential game changer.

The very first use, you’re probably going to make a mess. A video of your first attempt at a Waterpik would be good content for TikTok if you’re into that. In all seriousness, you’ll get the hang of it – start on a low power and work yourself up to a comfortable pressure. Slowly follow your gumline along all front then back surfaces of your teeth. The Waterpik website also has a helpful how-to video here.

The Waterpik models our hygienists typically recommend are called the Aquarius and the Sidekick:   

  • The Aquarius comes with a standard tip in addition to a variety of interchangeable tips of different sizes indicated for specialty use. The Pik Pocket tip is great for those with diagnosed periodontal disease and deep gum pockets. The Plaque Seekers tip is for people with large fillings, crowns, implants, bridges, or braces.
  • The Sidekick is excellent if you need something compact for travel and have limited sink space. It only comes with a standard tip and unfortunately the other tips do not fit on this model. If you do have extensive dental work or gum disease to maintain, we recommend the Aquarius!

If you purchase a water flosser, we’d love to hear about it at your next appointment. Although you probably won’t even need to tell us – your hygienist will take one look at those healthy gums, gasp and say, “Wow! Your teeth look incredible!” and you’ll say, “Yes, thank you” but then you’ll go home and into your bathroom and whisper to your water flosser, “No, thank YOU.”