A water flosser is an excellent addition to your everyday oral health regimen. Many people are just discovering how important they are, especially since they help to clean and remove debris from hard-to-reach places.
Although they are not technically a replacement for conventional string floss, they have proven to be more advantageous for someone seeking comfort, convenience, and improved oral hygiene.
But exactly how do you choose the best water flosser? If you get one, how do you maintain it?
This post seeks to provide the answers to these and more questions on using and maintaining a water flosser.
The Importance Of Using A Water Flosser For Dental Hygiene
There are many reasons why a water flosser is an excellent addition to your everyday oral regimen. However, the main reason that stands out is its ability to clean areas your toothbrush and traditional string floss may not reach.
For instance, the parts between some teeth and below the gumline may be difficult to floss using conventional means. This is where a water flosser comes in handy.
Some of the other key reasons why using a water flosser for dental hygiene is beneficial include:
Reduces the risk of gum disease
Gum disease is a severe oral condition that affects the tissues supporting and surrounding your teeth. Such issues may cause inflammation, bleeding, or even tooth loss.
Using a water flosser helps to remove plaque and bacteria not only from your teeth but also from your gums, reducing the risk of gingivitis.
Ideal for people with dental appliances
People with dental appliances like braces and implants may find it difficult to floss using traditional string floss.
A water flosser is a safer and more effective alternative to conventional string floss as it deeply cleans around these devices without damaging them or getting stuck during use.
Helps prevent bad breath
Bad breath is caused by the bacteria in your mouth. While brushing and using string floss helps to prevent this issue, it is never completely successful.
This is because the bad breath-causing bacteria can be hidden in areas that are hard to reach using conventional oral hygiene methods. This is why a water flosser is more helpful, as it can clean those hard-to-reach parts of the mouth, ultimately getting rid of bacteria that cause bad breath.
Good for sensitive teeth
Traditional dental floss can be quite uncomfortable for people with sensitive teeth. On the other hand, water flossers are gentle on teeth and gums, meaning they are generally a better option for people with sensitive teeth.
They are also effective in cleaning between teeth and under the gumline without causing any discomfort.
Tips For Optimal Water Flosser Use
Using a water flosser is pretty simple. You just have to add water and start flossing. But to get optimal results, it would be prudent to understand what’s expected. Here is a quick and simple procedure to guide you on how and when to use a water flosser:
Choose the right tip
Some of the best water flossers come with different types of tips. All these tips are designed for people with varied needs and preferences. For instance, some tips are designed for people using braces or dental implants, while others are best for people with sensitive teeth, etc. Depending on your needs, pick the right tip for your water flosser.
Fill the reservoir with warm water
For a more comfortable experience, fill the water tank with warm water. However, based on your needs and preferences, you can also add the best mouthwash to the water for additional benefits.
Start with low pressure settings
Most water flossers have different pressure settings, which direct the force at which the device releases the water from the nozzle. If you are new to flossing and wondering how to use a Waterpik water flosser, starting with the lowest pressure settings is important. Doing so lets you get used to the various settings and find the most comfortable setting.
Angle the tip properly
When flossing, it is advisable to point the tip at a 90-degree angle to your teeth and gums. This technique enables the water to effectively reach between teeth and below the gum line, where bacteria and food particles accumulate.
Cover the whole mouth
It is paramount that you know how to work your way around the mouth during flossing. You can start from the back of your mouth and gradually move to the front sides.
Ensure that you floss between each tooth and also on all parts along the gum line. Moreover, be sure to spend enough time on each tooth. The recommended time frame for interdental cleaning should be at least 3-5 seconds. This is also the format to use when you wish to learn how to use a water flosser with braces.
Clean your water flosser after every use
To prevent bacteria buildup, cleaning your water flosser after every use is important. Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and maintaining the flosser.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using a Water Flosser
While water flossers are easy to use, there are certain common mistakes that might make you miss out on the best that the product has to offer. These mistakes to avoid include:
- Not filling the reservoir properly: You may run out of water or solution before you finish flossing, which can be inconvenient.
- Not starting with the lowest setting: Many water flossers come with adjustable pressure settings. It’s important to start with the lowest setting and gradually increase the pressure until you find the most comfortable setting for your gums.
- Using too much pressure: Too much pressure can damage your gums.
- Not aiming properly: If you aim the tip incorrectly, you may miss the areas that need cleaning the most.
- Rushing: Rushing can lead to missing areas and not cleaning as effectively as you should.
- Not replacing the tip: The water flosser tips can wear out over time and become less effective, so you must replace the tip to continue benefiting from the device.
- Not cleaning the water flosser: The water flosser should be cleaned after each use to prevent bacteria buildup.
How to Clean Your Water Flosser: The Right Way
Cleaning your water flosser is vital to maintaining its integrity and effectiveness. But how do you do it correctly? Here’s a quick guideline you can follow.
Step 1: Empty the water tank
You have to empty the water reservoir before you start the cleaning process. You can detach the tank from the flosser and pour the remaining water.
Step 2: Disassemble the water flosser
The next step will be to remove and disassemble the water flosser, which you can do by removing the tip from the handle and detaching any other removable parts of the device. If using more advanced devices, like the toothbrush and flosser combo, ensure to go through the manufacturer’s manual on how to disassemble the product.
Does a toothbrush and water flosser combo interest you? Check out our Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Review for your consideration.
Step 3: Rinse the individual parts
Rinse each of the parts in running water to remove any particles. Ensure to thoroughly rinse the tip, which is the part that comes in contact with your teeth and gums.
Step 4: Soak
Soaking is an important part of maintaining the hygiene of the water flosser. Soak all the parts in a bowl of warm water. You can mix it with a small amount of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. This helps in removing bacteria that may be present.
Step 5: Scrub
Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the water flosser parts. Focus on scrubbing hard-to-reach areas where bacteria may accumulate.
Step 6: Rinse and dry
Thereafter, rinse all the parts of the water flosser in running water to get rid of any remaining bits of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Allow the parts to air dry completely before reassembling the device.
How to Troubleshoot a Damaged Water Flosser
- No water flow: If the water flosser doesn’t release water, it may be due to a clogged nozzle or reservoir. Remove and run the nozzle in warm water to remove any buildup.
- Weak water pressure: Weak water pressure may be caused by a low battery or insufficient water pressure settings. Check them both and ensure they are in optimal condition.
- Leaking water: Leaking water is usually caused by a loose or damaged component. Ensure that all connections are securely fastened. If you notice any cracks, you may have to replace the component.
- Short battery life: A shorter than usual battery life may be caused by a damaged battery or malfunctioning charger. Check the manufacturer’s manual to know how often to use a water flosser and how much power it consumes. Try charging it fully using a different charger. If the issue persists, then you may need to replace the battery.
Maintaining the hygiene of your water flosser is important as it helps to keep your teeth and gums safer and cleaner. Taking good care of your water flosser requires you to know how to properly use, clean, and troubleshoot it in case it gets damaged.
Remember to consult the manufacturer’s manual or customer support if you’re unsure about how to use, clean, or troubleshoot your water flosser.
Using a water flosser at least once a day is recommended as part of your oral hygiene routine.
It is advisable to start on the lowest pressure setting and place the flosser tip inside your mouth before turning it on. Lean over the sink and allow the water to flow out of your mouth and into the sink.
While water flossers are ideal for people with braces and other dental appliances, traditional flossing is still recommended for some people, such as those with tightly spaced teeth or prone to tooth decay. However, both products are a good addition to your dental care regimen.
A water flosser should not replace brushing your teeth.
Use lukewarm tap water in your water flosser. Avoid using hot water, as this can damage the flosser.
Sharing your water flosser with someone else is not recommended, as this can increase the risk of spreading germs and bacteria. However, you can share a water flosser if everyone has their own tips.
Children can use a water flosser with adult supervision and guidance. However, it is important to choose a model with a lower pressure setting and smaller tip is important to avoid discomfort or injury.