What is it?

A Waterpik is a device that shoots a jet of water to clean debris and food off teeth. It serves two main purposes:
1. It physically removes debris
2. It stimulates the gums making them healthier and more resilient to bleeding.

What is it used for?

Waterpiks can be very helpful in patients with dental work that is
difficult to clean with floss alone. For example they are especially good for cleaning under bridges, arch-wires and braces to name a few. Some patients may not be able to handle flossing on a daily basis due to lack of dexterity, in these cases Waterpiks are much easier to use.

Is it better than flossing?

A Waterpik only flushes out food and debris, it does not remove all plaque (which contains bacterial colonies). Plaque is very sticky and adheres to the teeth making it rather resilient to removal by saliva or water. Plaque can only be removed by flossing because the floss physically wipes the plaque off the teeth whereas the water from the Waterpik just flows over. Although the Waterpik may remove the superficial layer of plaque, the deeper layers usually remain attached. This is why the best practice is using BOTH dental floss nd a Waterpik. However, using a Waterpik alone is still better than not lossing at all!

How do I use it?

Use the Waterpik with warm water and start on a lower setting until your gums become firmer with repeated use. Direct the flow of water directly between the teeth, point it straight through the contact, don’t point it directly down towards the gums. Start at one end of the mouth and make sure you go through each pair of teeth once from the inside and once from the outside. The Waterpik should be used once per day as part of your health care routine before bed.