Do Water Flossers Work?
If you’re looking to brighten your smile or improve your overall dental and oral health, you’ve probably wondered whether water flossers work. Despite experts stating that flossing regularly is critical for good oral health, only around 14% of people claim that they use traditional dental floss daily. Many say regular string or tape dental floss is difficult to manage or that it makes their gums bleed. But water flossers offer an easy and effective alternative to using regular string floss. Click to read our review of the best Water Flosser on the market.
One of the most popular home dental tools around, water flossers are used in millions of homes. But to answer the question about how well they work, it’s important to discuss what these tools are and what they can do. Water flossers are also sometimes called waterpiks. While this name was originally used to describe a particular brand of water flossing devices, its become so well-known that the words are now often used interchangeably.
Waterpiks direct a gentle, high-pressure stream of water into your mouth that removes food particles and bacteria from between teeth and under the gum line. Due to the water stream operation of water flossers, these models offer several impressive benefits.
Various studies have shown that water flossing is over 90% more effective at reducing gum bleeding compared to traditional dental floss. And since water flossers are able to spray beneath the gum line and into pockets where the gums have pulled away from the teeth, they’re over 50% better at reducing gingivitis. Plus, for anyone with sensitive gums, water flossing is much gentler on gum tissue and the massaging motion of the water can actually sooth the gums and improve their health.
Since water flossers can direct water anywhere in the mouth, many people claim that they are much easier to use than regular string floss. And since the jet can be aimed precisely, even cleaning those hard-to-reach spots in the mouth is easy. Another benefit of the waterpik is that it’s terrific for anyone who has dental work like bridges or braces. This is because water flossers can spray behind braces and remove food particles and bacteria from areas where dental floss just can’t reach.
How Often Should You Use a Waterpik?
Waterpiks are incredibly effective at removing bacteria and food particles from in between teeth and under the gum line. Because of this, experts state that for clean teeth, improved oral health, and a reduced risk of gum disease, you should make the combination of brushing your teeth and water flossing part of your daily routine.
To maintain good oral health, you should brush your teeth twice per day and floss with your water flosser at least once a day. This will ensure that particles and bacteria won’t build up between your teeth or under your gum line.
While water flossing once-a-day is perfectly fine for many individuals, there are some cases when using your waterpik more frequently might be called for.
For individuals with difficult to clean dental work such as bridges, crowns, or braces, it might be necessary to use your water flosser twice daily in order to rinse away trapped particles. Also, individuals with gum disease might be instructed by their dentist to use a water flosser more frequently in order to rinse particles and bacteria from gum pockets, at least until the condition improves.
Waterpik Before and After
After some time, you will begin to notice the difference and reap the benefits of a Water Flosser. Just see the picture (right) to see the difference in the Gum and Teeth area, just from taking the time to use a Waterpik.
We all know that brushing alone is not enough, so why don’t you try a Waterpik Flosser youself, and see your own Before and After.
Does a Waterpik Remove Plaque?
While the general consensus is that a water flosser is superior to manual dental floss in terms of its ability to remove food particles and bacteria, there is some debate as far as plaque removal is concerned. Plague is a colorless substance that accumulates on the teeth and under the gum line, creating a biofilm. This biofilm needs to be removed because if it is allowed to build up unchecked, it will eventually combine with other minerals and harden into tartar.
Unfortunately, when it comes to which method is more effective at plaque removal, dental or water flossing, several studies show conflicting data. Some studies state that water flossers are significantly more effective that manual dental floss at removing plaque, with some showing evidence that waterpiks can remove up to 99.9% of plaque in around 3 seconds. Other studies claim that string floss is in fact better for plaque removal due to the scraping motion of the string being more powerful than the water flosser’s pressurized stream.
While some experts might argue over which method is more effective, the one thing they don’t argue about is that a water flosser does indeed remove plaque. So for people who refuse to use manual dental floss because of gum sensitivity or because it can be difficult to use in hard-to-reach spots, a waterpik is a great alternative that allows you to rinse away plaque from anywhere in your mouth with minimal gum pain or bleeding.
When Should You Use Your Waterpik?
We’ve established that using your water flosser daily is crucial for maintaining optimal oral and dental hygiene. But you might be wondering what time of day you should use it or if water flossing should be performed before or after brushing your teeth. As far as when to use your water flosser, the best time of day to use it is before you turn in to bed for the night. This is because the longest period of time that you’ll be without food or drink is while you are sleeping.
Plaque, bacteria, and food particles have built up between your teeth and under your gums all day long. If you don’t remove it before you go to sleep, the plaque can calcify, hardening into tartar. Once that happens, only a dental hygienist will be able to remove it. But by using your water flosser prior to going to sleep, you don’t have to worry about plaque building up while you rest or, worse yet, hardening.
As for whether it’s better to use your water flosser before or after you brush your teeth, the best suggestion is to use it before you brush. There are several reasons why using a waterpik prior to brushing is preferred. The first benefit is that since you are removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth, your toothpaste and brush can actually get to work on the surface of your teeth, making their performance more effective.
Another benefit is that by seeing the particles and debris that are removed from water flossing prior to brushing, you’ll actually be more motivated to keep up with flossing regularly. While using your water flosser before brushing might be the best move, if you are more comfortable with brushing first and flossing second, then don’t be discouraged. The most important thing is that you stick to your routine. Whatever the timing, using your waterpik at least once daily will ensure that you keep your smile white and your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.