Waterpik 101

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Waterpiks have grown in popularity as they have grown more affordable and accessible in recent years. A waterpik is a small spray nozzle which shoots pressurized water between your teeth and around your mouth. Yes, you’ve seen and felt them used at the dentist, where the hygienist cleaned your mouth or rinsed out the grainy toothpaste. But they definitely have their place on your bathroom counter.

Today Fort Union Family Dental is sharing everything you need to know about waterpiks.

How Does a Waterpik Work?

The waterpik helps clean your mouth by providing directed irrigation. Mouthwash or rinsing with a mouthful of water can provide a quick surface rinse, but the waterpik gives a more pressurized and precise flow of water to target specific areas. The waterpik helps dislodge food, rinse surfaces, and freshen deep corners of your mouth. There are many different kinds of waterpiks which feature a variety of bells and whistles, but any one of them should do the trick.

Why Use a Waterpik?

The waterpik is an excellent way to dislodge food from between teeth – especially if you have obstructions that prevent flossing. Waterpiks can force out food particles that can get stuck due to braces, permanent retainers, bridges, and gum pockets. Waterpiks can also be more gentle on sensitive gums than flossing, and provide a more fresh and light effect.

Who Should Use a waterpik?

Absolutely anyone can learn to successfully use a waterpik, even children if supervised well. Waterpiks are especially helpful for those with braces, restorative dental work, bridges, or very tight teeth because flossing doesn’t always work for those with special circumstances. You may also choose to use a waterpik if you can’t reliably floss or if you are looking for a fresher clean in your oral health care routine.

Does a Waterpik Replace Flossing?

In a word – no. While your waterpik can flush out food particles and bacteria, it can’t remove the slimy buildup of plaque on the surface of your teeth, no matter the pressure. Plaque is a big problem, so ignoring flossing and proper brushing technique in favor of your waterpik will cause decay and buildup. Be sure to continue flossing regularly and carefully brushing with a cavity-preventing toothpaste to create good oral hygiene habits.

How Can I Incorporate a Waterpik To My Routine?

The proper way to incorporate a waterpik is to introduce it very slowly, on the lowest levels and give plenty of time to practice. You should first floss to remove and loosen all food and plaque. Then flush it all away with your waterpik. Finish with careful brushing to remove remaining plaque, whiten, and protect your teeth.

For more questions about your oral health care routine, give our friendly staff a call.