A water flosser is an excellent alternative to traditional flossing.
Dr. Apekian, our owner and one of three resident dentists at Midtown Dental, believes that water flossing can help patients get into the habit of flossing daily.
She tells her patients that traditional floss can ineffectively slide through damaged gums or large pockets along the gumline without clearing any debris, thereby defeating the purpose of flossing.
“For individuals who have experienced more significant bone loss from gum disease, dental bridges, orthodontic brackets, or multiple implants, we recommend water flossing primarily in those areas,” Dr. Apekian said.
What is a Water Flosser?
Waterpik is the name brand of a water flosser or oral irrigator that directs a forceful stream of water through a specialized tip and into the mouth.
The force of the water, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), dislodges and washes away plaque, bits of food, and bacteria from the gumline and teeth.
All water flossers have a reservoir to hold water or mouthwash and an electric motor to power the pump.
There are two types of water flossers: countertop and portable.
Countertop Water Flosser
These Waterpiks sit on your bathroom counter and plug into an electrical outlet. They feature a large reservoir, holding enough water for up to a minute of use or more.
Most countertop water flossers have a range of pressure settings, and some have flow control for the stream of water.
Portable Water Flosser
These Waterpiks run off battery power, both traditional and rechargeable, with the latter version featuring a small base for recharging between cleaning sessions.
A cordless water flosser is useful for travel or in a small bathroom without much counter space. However, these convenient options are not known for their flossing power or the multiple pressure settings that come standard with countertop models.
Portable water flossers also have a small reservoir, generally holding enough water or mouthwash for 30 to 45 seconds of use.
What are the Benefits of Water Flossing?
Water flossers are great at getting patients into the habit of flossing at least once per day, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Water flossing requires less hand strength and manual dexterity than string flossing, making it a great alternative for patients with arthritis or a mobility disability.
Toothbrush bristles, even electric toothbrushes, aren’t small enough to clean effectively in tight spaces. For this reason, the ADA recommends flossing.
A Waterpik is especially effective for getting into hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, tightly spaced teeth, and periodontal pockets that are synonymous with gum disease.
Waterpik’s website recommends users start with the back teeth and work toward the front teeth. Continue to move the water stream until you have cleaned both the upper and lower teeth inside and outside to ensure a thoroughly clean mouth.
Which Countertop Water Flosser is the Best?
Choosing the best Waterpik for you comes down to personal preference and how much you want to spend. Waterpik features a range of options from budget-friendly to top-of-the-line.
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush
If you’re looking to combine the task of brushing your teeth and flossing, then the Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Professional Flossing Toothbrush could be for you if you don’t mind the sticker price.
The Sonic-Fusion features a built-in timer, and adjustable water pressure controls for sensitive teeth from 10 PSI to 100 PSI.
The brush/floss features are activated by touch and swipe gestures that control the toothbrush speed, the floss function, or both simultaneously on the handle.
Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
But, for about $100 less, you can pick up the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser, which is a separate countertop unit that is well known for its longevity.
This model’s unique massage mode is the Hydro-Pulse Massage Mode, which Waterpik claims improves circulation while massaging the gumline.
Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Flosser + Sonic Toothbrush
If you’re looking for a compact package, the Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Flosser + Sonic Toothbrush System is another great alternative.
While the Sonic-Fusion combines the toothbrush and flossing into one head, the Complete Care separates the devices while maintaining many of the same controls and features.
The flosser has ten different pressure settings, and the toothbrush has three sonic modes.
Effective brushing and flossing are only preventative against cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Improve your oral health by scheduling an exam and teeth cleaning with Midtown Dental today.
What is the Best Portable Waterpik?
After you’ve made the switch from traditional flossing to a water flosser, you may be wondering if there is a portable companion model to your countertop Waterpik.
A portable cordless water flosser comes in two varieties: an all-in-one design or a cordless countertop version.
The former resembles an extra-large electric toothbrush, while the latter is a miniaturized version of the countertop models.
Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser
The all-in-one Waterpik Cordless Advanced is ideal for teens with braces or people who don’t have much bathroom counter space because of easy storage in a medicine cabinet or bathroom drawer.
It’s also a lightweight model, coming in at under one pound, making it versatile for home and travel, with water flossing pressure up to 75 PSI.
These are just some of the options available. If you want to find the best water flosser for your needs, we recommend visiting the Waterpik website.
Waterpik Water Flosser for Braces
A concern of patients with braces is stained teeth.
Stained teeth can be due to cavities, using tobacco products, or eating acidic or highly-pigmented foods and drinks.
Braces stains appear as white spots on teeth around or just under where the braces brackets were previously.
These white spots are areas of tooth decalcification, an early sign of decay. Brackets give plaque and bacteria more places to hide and, if not removed, the plaque releases acids that erode tooth enamel and cause a loss of minerals known as decalcification.
How to Avoid Stained Teeth from Braces
While a healthy lifestyle low in sugar and simple carbohydrates offers some protection, excellent oral hygiene is the best defense.
With a toothbrush and traditional floss, you may not be able to reach every area around your brackets, which is where the white spots typically appear.
A water flosser can get into these tight spaces around your brackets, between your teeth, and along your gumline to ensure minimal to no plaque is left behind, preventing braces stains from developing.
Routine & Preventative Dental Care Services at Midtown Dental
At Midtown Dental in Sacramento, preventative dentistry is one of our top priorities.
Having regular professional teeth cleanings and check-ups help prevent cavities and tartar buildup and guard against developing serious and costly conditions like gum disease and tooth decay.
We educate you on best practices and easy-to-use technologies that help keep your teeth and gums in their best shape between visits.
Oral Hygiene at Home
- Brush at least twice a day for two minutes
- Floss with a water flosser or traditional dental floss at least once per day
Your dentist or hygienist at Midtown Dental will discuss your personalized home care recommendations during your hygiene visit.