Learning how to use a Waterpik is one of the best ways you can improve your oral hygiene routine to boost your oral health. Everyone knows that simply brushing your teeth regularly isn’t enough. Flossing must be done as well. But flossing with regular floss may not be your best option.
Most of the other types of dental floss use strands, typically made of nylon. If they’re thin enough, the problem is that they may snap during their use. But thicker ones are more difficult to get into the smaller gaps between the teeth.
You may opt for Super Floss or Dental Tape, but these are difficult to use when you have crowded teeth or narrow gaps between the teeth. Electric flossers are now available and they use a vibrating nylon strand between the teeth, but this can also be hard for your gum line.
Now water flossers are available, and they’re becoming more popular. However, not all water flossers are as good as another, and many consider Waterpik as the best. The top rated water flossers from Waterpik can do a much better job than other brands, though you may need to pick the precise model that suits your needs.
What is a Water Flosser?
A water flosser is a device that uses a thin stream of water between your teeth and at your gum line for flossing, instead of a nylon strand. This strand of water can easily get rid of plaque and food particles. It’s extremely easy to use, and there’s no waste to dispose of. For those who find using regular floss difficult or for those with braces, it’s clearly the better option given its convenience and ease.
The Waterpik parts typically include a motor with a pump to move the water. There’s a water reservoir, and there should be a special tip on the water flosser. The pump and the motor moves a stream of pulsating pressurized water from the reservoir through the tip, and then to your mouth and teeth.
You can then use this stream of water to target the food particles and plaque in your mouth. Using this, compared to regular string floss, is easier and more comfortable, and certainly more effective. It’s much more pleasant to use that you’re less likely to neglect your daily flossing. Frisco dentist group Signature Dental states that for those who have difficulty with regular flossing (such as kids or those with braces), this can be a great alternative.
Here are some of the other benefits:
- It removes about 99.9% of plaque from the areas you treat.
- It’s twice as effective for dental implants as string floss.
- It’s 3 times as effective for braces as string floss. It’s very effective in cleaning braces and other orthodontics, and it also does well with crowns and bridges.
- It’s 50% more effective for gum health compared to string floss.
- It’s better for those who have dexterity problems and therefore find using regular floss difficult. If you have arthritis, a water flosser may be the better option.
Features Found in All Waterpik Water Flossers
Waterpik offers several types of water flossers, and some of them offer unique features. But they all have features in common as well, and these are some of these features:
1. The Water Pressure is Adjustable
With Waterpik, you’re able to control the water pressure produced by the water flosser.
You can have 3, 6 or 10 settings available depending on the model you get. The range of the water pressure can go from 10 psi up to 90 or 100 psi.
With the cordless models, you can have 2 or 3 water pressure settings, with the range from 45 to 75 psi.
2. They All Have a Water Reservoir
The size of the reservoir will depend on the model you get. The countertop models have 35-ounce reservoirs, while the cordless ones can contain up to 7 ounces. The size of the water reservoir will then affect how much time you have for flossing (though of course this will also be affected by the water pressure you use.
Here’s a general idea of how much flossing time you get for the size of your water reservoir:
- 22 to 35 ounces. at least 90 seconds
- 15 ounces. at least a minute
- 7 ounces. at least 45 seconds
- 5 ounces. at least 30 seconds
Of course, you can just refill the reservoir to extend your flossing time. Here are some helpful Waterpik tips regarding the reservoir:
- If you’re done flossing and there’s still some water left, you should empty the reservoir then let it dry.
- Make sure your countertop water flosser reservoirs have lids. If they don’t, just turn the reservoir open to keep dust out.
- You can add a bit of mouthwash to your water in the reservoir. At most the mouthwash amount should be equal to the water amount. Afterwards, you have to rinse the reservoir by filling it with warm water. You can run the warm water with the tip pointed at the sink
3. Eject Button for the Tip
When you put in a tip into the handle of the water flosser, you need to hear a click to confirm that it’s securely in place. To remove the tip, just press the tip eject button into the handle.
Each water flosser can actually be used by entire families, as long as each member of the family has a removable tip to use.
There’s a color-coded ring at the base of the tip so that each family member knows which tip is theirs.
North America Voltage
In general, Waterpik water flossers work with the 120VAC/60Hz outlets common in North America. But some models can work in other countries, such as:
- WP-260 Water Flosser for Kids
- WP-300 Traveler Water Flosser
- SF-01 and SF-02 Series Sonic-Fusion Flossing Toothbrush
- WF-04 Series Sidekick Water Flosser
- WP-560 Cordless Advanced Water Flossers
The models that use 3 AA batteries (which are included in the purchase) include the WF-03 Cordless Freedom Water Flosser and the WF-02 Cordless Express Water Flosser.
Special Features on Select Water Flosser Models
You can then pick water flosser model with the features you want or need. These features include:
Water Control in the Handle
All Waterpik water flossers have an on-off power button on each unit. However, some of the more advanced countertop units have an additional water control on the handle. This special feature lets you to stop or pause the water flow for a short time even while the unit is running.
Rotating Tip Base
On many of the Waterpik models the base of the water flosser tip can rotate. You can just use your thumb to do this as you use the water flosser. Rotating the base can let position the tip more easily to reach particular areas of your mouth.
Swiveling Water Hose
On the models in which the tip doesn’t rotate, you’ll find that instead the water hose swivels at the point where it’s attached to the handle base. This swiveling water hose also lets you reach even the more difficult to access parts of your mouth.
Timer and Pacer
Many oral care experts recommend that you use the water flosser for 1 minute. Some of the Waterpik water flossers have a timer and pacer that pauses the flosser at the 30 second mark.
This tells you to move to the other side of your mouth. At the 1-minute mark, you get another pause to tell you that you’re done.
But you can still continue flossing, and this time there won’t be any pauses anymore.
This is available in the Whitening Professional, Aquarius, and Aquarius Professional water flossers. In addition to the floss mode, you have a hydro-pulse massage mode that sends a pulsating water pattern to massage and stimulate your gums.
You can pick your favorite color, or the color that best suits your bathroom aesthetics.
You can buy Waterpik replacement hose parts for models such as the Ultra.
Different Types of Waterpik Water Flossers
Waterpik offers different types of water flossers, and each type offers its own set of advantages.
Large Countertop Water Flossers
These are generally the largest models, with the biggest water reservoirs, more pressure settings, and more advanced features. Some are smaller, but though they’re more compact they still include a nice set of features. The bigger ones, however, come with premium features.
- Some of the reservoirs come with a lid.
- Usually, the water in the reservoir can offer at least 90 seconds of flossing.
- You may have 6 to 10 water pressure settings to choose from, with a maximum pressure of 90 or 100 psi.
- Some of the models have an easy-to-use water control on the handle.
- There’s also a special countertop model called the Whitening Water Flosser. While it’s true that all the flossers from Waterpik can help whiten your teeth by removing plaque, this model does more by mixing in a gentle whitening agent to the water in your reservoir.
Smaller Countertop Water Flossers
The smaller ones are generally come with a lower price, and they don’t require as much space for storage. They’re more portable too. Here are the features you can expect:
- The reservoir is generally large enough for at least 60 seconds of flossing.
- You can just turn the reservoir over to keep the inside clean.
- Some of the models may be compatible with global voltage outlets.
- You may have 3 to 5 water pressure settings.
The models here include the Sidekick model which is designed to be portable and comes with a travel case. There’s also the Kids version that looks cute.
Cordless Water Flossers
Waterpik water flosser cordless models are more compact, so they’re the more portable Waterpik and more suitable for smaller bathrooms. These are great for those who travel, as they are light and small, making them easy to carry around. Who wants to lug a 4 lb counter-top water flosser? Some use 3 AA batteries, while others come with a rechargeable battery and a charger.
- The water reservoir allows for 30 to 45 seconds of flossing. So you can floss on one side of your mouth first, and then when the reservoir needs to be refilled you can go on to the other side.
- You have 2 or 3 pressure settings to choose from ranging from 45 to 75 psi.
- You can use these in the shower if you get a waterproof model.
Combination Water Flosser and Electric Toothbrush
Many consider this the best option for complete dental care. You save space, and you can choose sonic or oscillating toothbrushes for more effective cleaning.
- Combining water pressure with pulsations can offer more effective cleaning between the teeth.
- The sonic toothbrush gives you 30,000 brush strokes per minute.
- The oscillating toothbrush has a round brush head that rotates.
- You get a pacer for the toothbrush every 30 seconds for 2 minutes, so you can give enough time for the top, bottom, left, and right areas of your mouth.
How to Use Waterpik Water Flossers
The best tools are useless if you don’t use them properly, and that principle applies to the Waterpik models. You have to know how to properly use a Waterpik to make sure you get all the benefits of flossing. Here are the steps you need to take.
- Put in warm water to fill the reservoir.
- Place the reservoir securely on the base of the unit.
- Pick your water flosser tip and click it into the handle.
- If you’re using the water flosser for the first time, break it in by using the highest pressure setting. Point the tip into your sink, and then turn the unit on. After a few seconds, you can turn it off and refill the water reservoir.
- When starting to floss, set it to the lowest pressure setting.
- If you want to learn how to use a Waterpik without making a mess, start by leaning into your sink before you turn the flosser on.
- Place the tip into your mouth, close your lips, and turn the unit on. Just let the water flow from your mouth into the sink.
- Target the tip towards your gum line.
- Spend 30 seconds for the top part of your mouth, and another 30 seconds for the bottom part.
- When you’re done, turn the unit off and then eject the water flosser tip.
How to Use a Waterpik Water Flosser with Braces
Waterpik water flossers let you choose from several types of Waterpik flosser tips. If you now have braces, your Waterpik replacement tips should include the Orthodontic Tip. This works best, though the Classic Jet Tip also works in a pinch.
The basic steps are the same except for the following:
- You need to start with the back teeth when you aim the dental water jet at your gum line.
- Stop awhile and then lightly brush the spaces between the teeth and all around the orthodontic appliances.
- Once that’s done with one tooth, go to the next tooth.