How important is to use water flossers or waterpiks?


Are you religiously brushing your teeth twice a day with the right toothbrush, good quality toothpaste, and the correct brushing techniques? You may well think you are doing as much as necessary to keep your teeth clean and healthy. But this may not be enough.

In order to clean your teeth well and maintain oral health and hygiene, you also need to floss your teeth. The plain truth is that no matter which kind of toothbrush (manual, electric, battery operated) you use and what it promises, your teeth will never be completely clean unless you are also flossing after brushing.

Research studies have shown that brushing only cleans 60% of the teeth and you are left with the remaining 40% that cannot be cleaned with brushing alone. Insufficiently cleaned teeth become a source of oral diseases, bad breath and tooth decay and that is why dental flossing is recommended for reduction of periodontal disease.


The problems with traditional string flossing

Unfortunately using dental floss has its own set of problems. If you have flossed and are still doing so you may well have experienced one or more of the following:

  • Bleeding from the gums

  • Increased gum sensitivity

  • Difficulty to reach some in-between areas of the teeth

  • The floss fraying and even getting stuck between the teeth

  • Difficulty in getting the hang of flossing

  • Loss of some mobility in fingers and hands (particularly in older people or those who suffer from joint diseases)

  • Inability to floss with braces


Some of these disadvantages of flossing may result in your giving up your efforts to floss, even if you have started with great enthusiasm.


Using water flossers – a good alternative

What if you could avoid all the negatives associated with using traditional dental floss, but still keep your teeth clean? If you use water flossers, you can reap most of the benefits of using string dental floss, without many of the disadvantages associated with their use. Water flosses are special devices that use water streaming at high pressure to clean between the teeth.

Water flossers are also known as oral irrigation systems or dental water jets, and they work similarly to the water jets used by your dentist.


Waterpiks can be used even if you have


  • Braces

  • Dental implants

  • Non-removable bridgework (effective cleaning even where teeth are absent)

  • Crowns

  • Some restricted hand movement or dexterity

  • Gum sensitivity


These water flossers help you reach places among your teeth that you may not be able to reach using string dental floss. At the same time, they clean between tightly spaced teeth as well. If for any reason you don’t use string floss, you should definitely use water flossers.


Types of water flossers available

You can get a wide range of different water flossers such as


  • Large tank water flossers – these are placed on the countertop and filled with water. The advanced models offer 6-10 pressure settings that can be changed to suit your needs. You can use these for up to 90 seconds for thorough cleaning.

  • Compact tank water flossers – these are best for smaller bathroom spaces. They offer 3-5 pressure settings and up to 60 seconds of use at a time.

  • Cordless waterpiks – if you don’t have counter space in your bathroom, then the cordless model that comes with an

    in-built water tank, then the cordless model is a good alternative. It is easy to carry if you are traveling so you don’t have to forego or compromise on your daily oral care. These may be battery operated with batteries that need to be replaced or you can opt for the rechargeable battery versions.

  • Combination water flosser with an electric toothbrush – if you want an all-in-one device for complete dental care, then this is the gadget to get. It comes with a water reservoir. You can get one with the kind of toothbrush you want as there are a number of different versions available.

Why is maintaining oral health important?

 If you have a set of healthy teeth you can avoid the painful and expensive treatments available at a dentist. Bad breath, gum disease, cavities, broken and missing teeth, tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease afflict many people. Dental problems can affect young children and the elderly equally. People of any age are not immune to oral diseases and need to take care of their oral health.

While visiting a dentist periodically is important, you have to take care of your teeth on a daily basis yourself. Research studies have shown that many dreaded diseases are linked to oral health. A healthy set of teeth can reduce the risk of problems like

  • Dementia

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Stroke

  • Lung problems

So if you want to decrease your chances of getting these diseases, the first thing you have to do is maintain a healthy set of teeth.


What are the best methods of ensuring dental health?

 It is vital that you brush your teeth twice a day at the very least. You can use toothpaste that you like, whether natural or commercial. Or you can use natural cleaners like baking soda, occasionally. As there are toothpastes for all kinds of problems (whitening, sensitive, anti-cavity, fluoride and others) you can select one according to your needs. Don’t forget to use a toothbrush that is best suited for your teeth either and change it every three or four months or if it degrades earlier.

After brushing, you should ideally use string dental floss that removes plaque and debris from around the teeth and gums. And then if you use a water flosser as well, your teeth will be super clean.

In between and after meals, you may consider using a mouthwash to remove debris from the teeth and freshen your breath.

At the same time, if you experience any dental problems, do visit your dentist immediately instead of waiting for things to get worse when they may be difficult to treat. It is also a good idea to have professional dental cleaning once or twice a year when you go for your routine check-up. If you do all this, you may well enjoy teeth that last you a lifetime.











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