'I've started using the Waterpik water flosser and my teeth have never felt cleaner'

waterpik review
Waterpik water flosser reviewWaterpik

In order to maintain healthy teeth, the NHS recommends people 'floss or use an interdental brush every day to remove food, debris and plaque lodged between your teeth'. If you don't floss regularly, you're in danger of plaque building up and causing gum irritation, bad breath, and eventually gum disease.

Although the dangers of forgetting to floss are well known, according to Statista, only 27% of people aged 25-44 in the UK regularly floss their teeth.

Embarrassing as this is to admit, I often find myself forgetting to buy floss, running out of my supply and getting out of the habit of doing it. This is part of the reason that when I saw Waterpiks popping up online I was interested in trying one out for myself, I wouldn't need to worry about running out of floss and all I'd have to do was keep it charged.

The Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser seemed to be the one with the best reviews, with one happy customers saying 'I would definitely recommend this product especially for anyone that suffers from gum disease. I use mine twice a day and have seen massive improvement already'.

We spoke to internationally recognised orthodontist Dr. Anthony Lam from Elleven Dental for some insight into how and why we should be using a water flosser, and he gave us his expert opinion on all our questions.

What is a water flosser?

The Waterpik is a water flosser, which Dr. Lam defines as 'a device that uses water pressure to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and along your gum line. It's a gentle and effective alternative to traditional flossing that can help improve your oral health'.

Some of the benefits of using a Waterpik include cleaner teeth, easier plaque removal, you can clean around braces more easily, you can massage your gums for better circulation, and you can bring it on holiday with you with the handy travel case.

Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser review

The Waterpik Water flosser arrived in a simple box with all the accessories I'd need to make the most of the new device, including four interchangeable tips that cater to different needs and a travel case so I can bring it with me on holidays.

How to use a Waterpik water flosser?

As I'd never used a water flosser before, the device looked a bit intimidating and my first time using it was pretty messy.

Dr. Lam helped me out by giving me some instructions on how to use a water flosser: 'To use a water flosser, you first need to fill the reservoir with lukewarm water. Then, select the appropriate pressure setting and turn on the water flosser. Lean over the sink and place the tip of the flosser in your mouth. Close your lips to prevent water from splashing out and aim the tip at the gum line at a 90-degree angle. Lastly, turn the water flosser off and spit the water out when you've finished flossing each area'.

The bit I most struggled with was keeping my lips closed while manoeuvring the flosser around my mouth, but with a few practice runs I was able to get into a good groove while using it.

How often should you use a water flosser?

The NHS recommends flossing every day, and Dr. Lam concurs by advising that 'using a water flosser daily can be a safe and effective way to improve oral hygiene'.

He adds that this guidance isn't one-size-fits-all: 'It’s important to consider individual needs and preferences, gum sensitivity and health, and the presence of dental work or orthodontics before incorporating a daily water flossing routine. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult with your dentist for personalised recommendations.'

I've been using my water flosser every evening and have quickly become accustomed to how clean my teeth feel after using it, if I go a night without it I could swear my morning breath is a little tangier than usual.

Are water flossers good?

I had a throughly positive experience using my Waterpik, but as I mentioned I'd struggled to maintain a regular flossing routine previously so maybe I'm just now reaping the benefits of flossing daily.

Dr. Lam says that 'water flossers are generally considered to be a good way to improve your oral hygiene. They are gentle on your gums and can be especially helpful for people with braces, dental implants, or other dental appliances that can make traditional flossing difficult. Water flossers are also a good option for people who have trouble using traditional floss due to hand dexterity issues or other physical limitations.'

However, he adds that 'traditional floss, floss picks and water flossers are all effective if used properly and consistently. It ultimately doesn't matter which type of floss you go for, as long as flossing is part of your daily routine.'

Waterpik Water Flosser review: Final verdict

The first few times I used the water flosser my gums did bleed a bit, but this had less to do with the brutality of the device and more about my gums being extra sensitive because I'd been slacking with my flossing.

Part of the reason why I'd been slacking was I was just constantly running out of dental floss. Once I'd gotten in the groove of remembering to floss, I'd be out of dental floss and once again out of the routine.

My favourite part about the Waterpik is all I had to remember to do was charge it, which helped me to build the habit of flossing daily and get so used to the feeling of flossed teeth it now feels gross to go without.

I'm also trying to cut back on unnecessary waste, so not having to throw out disposable floss every day feels great.

Overall, I'd recommend the Waterpik water flosser who wants to get more consistent with flossing and is willing to invest in their oral hygiene routine. As Dr. Lam told us, there's no huge benefit to using a water flosser over normal floss, but I found I was able to be more consistent with a water flosser.

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