For the average person, having a dentist-approved oral care routine can take years to accomplish. You might already brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA)—and even floss on the daily—but there’s still an extra step that could boost your oral hygiene game to new heights. If you want to impress the dentist at your next appointment, adding a water flosser to your daily routine is the answer.
What Is a Water Flosser?
A water flosser is a small electric device with a reservoir that you fill with water. When turned on, it creates a stream of water that you can use to clean hard-to-reach places like below the gumline and between the teeth.
Water flossers are important because plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene can lead to infections in the mouth, and sometimes regular flossing just doesn’t cut it. Not only does a water flosser get into those hard-to-reach places, but the sensation of water flushing out plaque and debris from your mouth can boost your confidence levels the next time your picture is taken. A simple-to-use tool changes the game entirely and could even replace regular flossing.
What to Look For
The first step in finding the right water flosser is to check if it’s ADA-approved. Right now, there are only five ADA-approved water flossers on the market—the most popular brand being Waterpik. Starting with a water flosser that has a seal of acceptance will give the best results for removing plaque.
Other features to consider are how much water the tank holds, whether the nozzle comes with a rotating tip that allows you to reach every part of your mouth with ease, what the pressure settings are, and whether the device can be used cordlessly (i.e., it does not need to be plugged in when in use). If you’re not sure what your teeth can handle, finding a water flosser with an array of pressure settings can give you flexibility and comfort.
Tips for Using a Water Flosser
- Fill the water basin with warm water for ultimate comfort.
- For first-timers, start the water pressure at a medium to low level. If it feels too gentle, turn it up a notch; if it feels painful, lower the pressure settings.
- Using a water flosser can get messy! Wait until the tip of the water flosser is inside your mouth before turning the device on. This will keep your bathroom mirror free and clear of water spots.
- As you use the device, close your mouth enough to prevent splashing, and lean over the counter to allow water to fall directly into the sink.
- Feel your gum line by using the pressure from the water, and angle the tip 90 degrees. Note: You may need to twist the tip to get a better angle for the upper or lower part of your mouth.