Waterpik, an alternative to dental floss

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If you care about your oral and dental health and dental hygiene, you most likely brush your teeth and use dental floss at least twice a day.

Nonetheless, even with dental floss, some areas of your mouth can be hard to reach. Floss can even cause minor bleeding if it is not used regularly.

So, does a way of eliminating very hard-to-reach food residues exist?

The answer is yes. The alternative (or complementary) to dental floss is a water flosser, Waterpik or flossing toothbrush.

What is a water flosser?

A water flosser is a small device that allows the thorough cleaning of any impurities under the gums and in the spaces between your teeth, spaces that your toothbrush and dental floss can’t reach.

By eliminating small food debris and  dental plaque, this device allows you to achieve a profound sensation of freshness in your mouth, to effectively massage your gums to simulate blood circulation and above all, to prevent different pathologies, such as periodontitis, cavities or bad breath.

Clinical trials have shown that a water jet is more effective than dental floss. According to these studies, using a water flosser allows to reduce dental plaque by 74% compared to 57% with dental floss. Using a water flosser also reduces gingivitis and gum bleeding.

A water flosser never replaces toothbrushing, but can complement it.


Dr. Victoria Klimovich

How does it work?  

A water flosser is very easy to use and is appropriate for both adults and children.

Like with dental floss, you can use it before or after brushing your teeth.

It works like a mini pressure washer in your mouth, spraying a jet of pressurised water onto your gums and the spaces between your teeth. The power of the device’s jet is configurable, ranging from a level appropriate for massaging your gums to one that is suitable for cleaning between your teeth, which requires more pressure.

Different cleaning nozzles exist depending on your needs. They enable different tasks to be completed more precisely: tartar elimination, gum massage, cleaning dental devices, etc.

My advice

  • Keep your head above the sink
  • Position the device perpendicular to the axis of your teeth
  • Set the pressure depending on the desired action (massaging or cleaning).
  • Take time on the spaces between your teeth and on the border between your gums/teeth.

While it can be useful to watch videos and read articles to find out which device to choose and how to use it, asking the opinion of your dentist is recommended.

Instructions

Using a Waterpik is particularly useful if you wear an orthodontic device or dentures.

It is also useful for:

  • Preventing dental plaque and receding gums
  • Decreasing the risk of  dental disease, gingivitis and cavities
  • Preventing bad breath
  • Preventing the risk of infections following dental surgery
- Dental Geneva
A Waterpik or water flosser is particularly useful
if you wear an orthodontic device or dentures

Conclusion

ADVANTAGES

  • Easy to use
  • Gets into hard-to-reach areas
  • Essential if you wear dentures
  • Very useful if you have braces

DRAWBACKS

  • More expensive than dental floss
  • The device takes up space

Water flossers and dental floss are good ways of taking care of your teeth and gums in addition to brushing. I recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth a minimum of once a day. Read the 10 golden rules for dental hygiene.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions on your dental hygiene. I will help you determine the best option for you.

Dr Victoria Klimovich
Dr Victoria Klimovich

Orthodontist at Dental Geneva practice.
Master of Orthodontics from the University of King's College London. Member of the European Orthodontic society and Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

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