As you know, regularly cleaning between your teeth every day will help to remove food debris and plaque, which can all build up in tight spaces that your brush can’t get to. While you may use standard dental floss to get in all the nooks and crannies, you may want to consider using a water flosser instead – especially if standard flossing makes your gums bleed or you have braces.

Water flossers, AKA dental water jets or oral irrigators, are devices that aim a gentle water stream at your teeth to help remove food particles and sticky plaque between them. You can use such flossers in conjunction with your regular teeth cleaning and flossing routine every night if you choose. If unsure, ask your hygienist at your next six-month teeth cleaning in Piedmont if water flossers are right for you and which one you should try.

Factors: Choosing a Water Flosser

When in the oral care aisle in the store, here’s what to consider when looking for the best water flosser for you:

  • Reservoir capacity
  • Budget
  • Battery Life
  • Ease of Use
  • Fully Equipped Set or Separate
  • Pressure

Why Use a Water Flosser?

There are numerous reasons why people of all ages can benefit from the use of a water flosser. Not only does water flossing offer an easier method of protection against plaque and bacteria, it’s preferable by many over picks or string floss.

Water flossers bring many benefits. They:

  • Are easy to use
  • Remove more plaque than traditional floss
  • Are gentler on gum tissue
  • Will not catch on sharp edges or become stuck in your teeth
  • Give you a more thorough clean than traditional dental floss
  • Are great for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment (i.e., braces)
  • Don’t require the use of floss threaders
  • Are easy to use with dental implants
  • Come in a variety of styles
  • Have interchangeable tips

Who Benefits From Using Water Flossers?

Those with orthodontics or dental work that make the use of standard dental floss difficult can benefit greatly from water flossers because they’re easier to use. Those with fine motor or mobility challenges, such as children and the elderly, may find it easier to use a water flosser. And finally, if you are prone to getting food stuck in your teeth, whether due to implants, genetics, or bridges, you may want to try a water flosser.

Water flossers should be for individual use. Just like you wouldn’t share your brush, don’t share a flosser, which increases your risk of contamination with bacteria, says the Mayo Clinic.

Users’ Guide to Water Flossers

There’s a wide variety of water flossers to choose from, whether in the store or online. Once you have made a selection, now it’s time to think about how to use it. Each model is slightly different, but check out these general guidelines.

  1. Connect the water flosser to the tap or fill the reservoir with lukewarm water.
  2. Place the nozzle in your mouth, holding the irrigator away from your teeth and gums.
  3. Don’t place it directly against your teeth or gums. Start with the molars in the back of the mouth, leaning over the sink do you don’t get water everywhere.
  4. Select the pressure setting and turn it on. Depending on the model, this will be either in the form of a button or a dial that you can use to adjust the water pressure. Start on the lowest pressure setting, then slowly work your way up, closing your lips gently to prevent splashing.
  5. Follow the gum line, directing the water at the gum line and the areas between your teeth. Aim at the top of the tooth, baseline of the gums, and the spaces between each tooth, holding for about two seconds on each area. Repeat this on the inside and outside of your teeth. The process should last about two minutes or so.
  6. When done, turn off the device, remove the nozzle and drain the remaining water. Don’t leave stale water in the reservoir, as it can lead to the growth of bacteria.
  7. Rinse and clean the reservoir after every session. Each model will have its own cleaning instructions so be sure to check them.

Now it’s time to start having fun with your new water flosser and making it a nightly routine.

Schedule Your Six-Month Cleaning at Piedmont Oaks Dental

Have you scheduled your next six-month cleaning yet? Please book your appointment with us today at (510) 654-6523. We are located at 1345 Grand Ave. Suite 103 in Piedmont, CA and our hours are Mon – Thu 8am to 5pm and Fridays 8am to 1pm. At this visit, be sure to ask your hygienist whether water flossers are right for you.