Our overall health and well-being is also related to our oral hygiene. Healthy teeth and gums are necessary for good digestion; they help us smile, speak and socialise. Therefore, taking care of teeth should not be an onerous task.
The two most important things to do for oral health are brushing and flossing. Most people brush daily but when it comes to flossing, people tend to be lazy. Flossing is very important because toothbrushes are not designed to get the food in between teeth. Floss can get between teeth and underneath gums to remove plaque.
This is very important for prevention of cavities. Today I will be discussing everything you need to know about flossing, especially water flossing, and why water flosser is the best invention for complete oral care.
What is a Water Flosser?
Water flosser is an important device used for inter-dental cleaning. A water flosser is also known as oral irrigator or dental water jet.
The first water flosser was engineered by Dr. Gerald Moyer –a Fort Collins dentist with his friend John Mattingly-a hydraulics engineer. After 145 unsuccessful attempts, the duo succeeded in making the first efficient water flosser which was then tested on Dr. Moyer’s patients having periodontal disease.
After 6 months of regular use, patients could see significant improvements in their oral health.
Today, after nearly 50 years since its invention, the water flosser has undergone numerous scientific studies to prove its efficiency in treating gingivitis and other dental and oral problems. Here are some benefits of using water-flosser as proven by three main studies:
- Study conducted by Barnes et al. showed that water flossing combined with tooth-brushing was significantly effective in reducing bleeding gums and gingivitis compared to just string flossing and tooth brushing.
- Study by Sharma et al. concluded that water flosser was more effective in reducing plaque and bleeding scores when compared to manual toothbrushing or dental water jet with an orthodontic tip or even with manual brushing and floss threads.
- Rosema et al. compared three study groups - two were given water flosser with two different tips and manual toothbrush and the third was given regular floss and a manual toothbrush. The groups with water flossers experienced reduced gingival bleeding scores.
Advantages of Water Flosser over Thread Floss and Manual Brushing
- Water flosser is gentle on the teeth and gums compared to manual brushes which can abrade the enamel.
- It effectively removes debris and plaque from the teeth.
- Compared to thread flosses, water flossers penetrate deeper without harming teeth or gums.
- Targeted precision cleaning cleans deep down and helps reduce bacteria between teeth and gums.
- Water flossers work quickly- within 60 seconds, your mouth is clean and fresh.
- Many top brands of water flossers come with different nozzles and attachments. These direct the jet of water between teeth and gum line.
- You can also select from different cleaning modes: soft for sensitive gums, normal mode for removing food between teeth and deep for removing bacteria and plaque through deep penetration.
- The water flosser can be safely used with regular toothpaste or mouthwashes.
- This form of cleaning is especially beneficial for elderly patients or people with limited dexterity.
- Thread flossers often cause bleeding gums which water flossers eliminate.
- Many people are too bored or lazy to do the manual brushing and cleaning action-this is eliminated by water flossers.
- People with braces cannot floss with thread floss. Water flosser eliminates this problem. It gets all the food trapped behind braces and in between the teeth.
- Tonsil stones are hardened pieces of debris or food stuck in the back of the mouth at the entrance of the throat. Normal brushing and gargling does nothing to remove them. But a water flosser can easily target these hard-to-reach places. It blasts the embedded bits of tonsil stones to give you completely fresh mouth.
For today’s technology-driven world which needs everything quick and easy, the water flosser is indeed a blessing. It is adaptable, easy to use and serves diverse populations.
Best Tips to Use Water Flosser
- Do not turn the unit on until the tip is in the mouth.
- Bend from the waist over the sink. Hold the arm holding the water flosser perpendicular to torso.
- Slightly close the lips (not completely) to prevent water from splashing out. It should be open enough to allow water to flow freely from mouth to sink.
- Turn off or pause the unit before removing the water flosser from the mouth.
- Use the solution at room temperature; cold water can shock your teeth and gums.
- If you are using the unit for the first time, use the lowest pressure setting.
- Do not point the water flosser at your uvula - you could gag and choke.
- There are different tips available with the flosser. If you have veneers, crowns and implants, use the plaque seeker tip. For fresh breath, use the tongue cleaner. The toothbrush is for people who wish to floss and brush at the same time. For quick general cleaning, go for the classic tip. Some units also offer periodontal tips, nasal tips, orthodontic tips and jet tips.
Tips for Best Cleaning
- Begin in the molar area and follow a pattern so you do not miss any area.
- First brush with the sonic tooth and then use the Waterpik. You can also manually brush before using the water flosser, though it is not necessary.
- Place the tip of the water flosser at 90 degrees to the long axis of the tooth.
- Switch on the unit and hold the tip in place for at least 3 seconds. This is necessary to ensure that the solution reaches the gingival crevices/pockets.
- Move in a linear pattern along the gingival margin. Ensure all areas are well irrigated.
- When using the toothbrush tip, you may also use the brushing action.
- You need not use a manual or thread flosser afterwards, but some people like to, especially when they have eaten meat or have bits of chicken and turkey stuck.
- Follow up with mouthwash if you haven’t used it already.
Best Waterpik and Water Flossers Reviews
I will now review 5 of my favourite Waterpik flossers and water flossers from other brands having comparable high ratings.
More than 10,000 users have given the WP-660 a 5-star rating. This Amazon's Choice flosser is the first water flosser of its kind in this category which has received the American Dentist Association seal of acceptance. See more details and order it here.
- Comes with ten pressure settings and seven water flossing tips so you can easily set it exactly at what your personal preferences are.
- Many users have experienced brighter, whiter teeth in just a couple of uses.
- Comes with a three-year warranty.
- You can share the unit with a family member-just make sure to use different tips.
- Add any solution to the reservoir-mouthwash and water work best!
- Safe for use on seniors over 60 as well.
- Water tank is 21 ounces and BPA free.
- Thousands of positive comments and reviews.
- Some people say it's noisy.
- Works at 110V so you cannot use it outside the USA.
- Kids need to be taught how to use it in order to avoid making a mess around the sink.
A single device that combines flossing and brushing together! This best oral irrigator has been rated 4.5 stars on Amazon and attracted thousands of positive reviews. It removes debris and plaque effectively and has a high volume reservoir. The WP-900 has sonic toothbrush technology with 25% bristle speed.
Here are the pros and cons:
- WP-900 is 159% more effective than manual brushing and offers about 99.9% plaque removal.
- Compared to string floss, the WP-900 is found to be 50% more effective in giving you healthier gums.
- Guaranteed results - just one minute per day will give you brighter, whiter, shinier teeth and healthier gums.
- Fill up the reservoir with mouthwash and lukewarm water in 1:1 ratio and your teeth will thank you for it!
- Comes with ten pressure settings, five water flossing tips and rechargeable toothbrush so you can easily set it exactly at what your personal preferences are See more details and order on Amazon here.
- Charging problems - as reported by a few users
- Messy until you learn how to use it!
- Some people say it's noisy.
This unit is for those people who weren’t satisfied with Waterpik noisy operation. Its advantage over Waterpiks is its quiet operation and it's cheaper. Check it out here.
- Noise-free operation-just about 50db.
- H2OFloss is waterproof.
- Convenient design and comes with 12 different tips.
- Gives 1200 pulses per minute which is the most comfortable frequency according to survey.
- You can use it for gum problems, with veneers and implants, nasal issues etc.
- Works much better than manual floss.
- It has quiet operation and can go from gentle to powerful.
- Comes with tips for the entire family.
- No leaks, no mess.
- It's very inexpensive and so far it has attracted over 2000 positive reviews from many happy users.
- Some users experienced leaks and mess
- For some users the motor rotor melted the plastic and the unit had to be thrown off.
- Several users complained of broken tips within days of use
- Some could not change the pressure although there are buttons for it.
The Pecham oral irrigator is a less known brand but it's a great alternative to more expensive Waterpik water flosser. Many have called it the best oral irrigator in its category and it's currently No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon. This water flosser looks amazing, works quietly and has many pressure settings and interchangeable nozzles.
- The unit is suitable for the entire family- it comes with seven different tips for use in kids to seniors.
- You can choose from 10 pressure settings!
- The rotating head offers better cleaning all around the mouth.
- Ultra strong pulsing will give you cleaner, whiter teeth and gums. It protects tooth decay, bleeding gums and yellow, stained teeth. The included tongue scraper prevents bad breath.
- Convenient 600 ml reservoir holds the tips when not in use.
- It runs on 110-240V UNIVERSAL VOLTAGE so if you travel a lot this water flosser is great for general worldwide use. See more details and get your own unit here on Amazon.
- Cheap plastic container which many users complained about.
- Not as good quality as the Waterpik.
- On/off position switch button is painful to use.
5. Greenvida Best Cordless Water Flosser - Rechargeable Portable Oral Irrigator - Great for Kids and People with Braces and Travel
Looking for the best Waterpik flosser that is not by Waterpik and is portable and rechargeable? Then Greenvida it is!
- One of the best cordless water flossers, the Greenvida can protect against different dental issues like bad breath, bleeding gums, decay, periodontitis, and stained teeth.
- You can use it on one of 3 different modes-pulse mode massages the gums well.
- Cordless design can be used at home or office. You can also travel with it.
- Low noise of operating – within 75 db.
- Easy to hold ergonomic design. Great for teenagers too.
- Great product for great price. Order Greenvida 2018 upgraded model oral irrigatotor here.
- Battery stops working within a few weeks - rechargeable battery is useless.
- Some users found pressure high even at lowest speed.
- Brittle plastic tank.
The water flosser offers convenient and complete oral care. It takes the guesswork out of brushing and manual flossing and is particularly beneficial for people having braces, veneers, implants and other dental or oral issues.
Many flossers can also be used for sinusitis sufferers to prevent post nasal drip, tonsil stones etc. Pick your own favourite model and use the water flosser regularly and get shinier, healthier and brighter teeth in no time.