A water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator, is a handheld oral care device that directs a stream of water between your teeth and gums, removing food debris, plaque and bacteria. Combined with daily flossing, a water flosser enhances your daily oral care routine.
While there are many types of oral irrigators all feature a reservoir to hold the water, an electric motor to power the pump, and a special nozzle. The motor and pump cause a stream of pressurized water to flow from the reservoir, through the nozzle, and between teeth, to remove plaque food particles and bacteria.
Type — There are generally four different types of water flossers: countertop, cordless or battery operated, shower flosser, and faucet flosser.
Pressure Settings — Most top-rated water flossers have adjustable pressure capability, perfect for those with sensitive gums, implants or braces. A pulsating water setting is particularly effective at loosening tough-to-reach food particles.
Size — A compact and cordless design allows for greater maneuverability.
Some of the best water flossers, like the
Oral-B Water Flosser Advanced Cordless Irrigator, feature multiple modes—even one for sensitive gums—that are perfect if gum sensitivity is a problem for you. They’re also a gentle yet effective way to clean crowns, braces, bridges, and dental implants.
Another issue with daily flossing is that many people have a difficult time doing it properly. Most just put the floss between their teeth instead of making the recommended C-shape with the floss to insure it properly contacts all surfaces of the teeth. Plus, improper flossing can even cause gum tissue damage if done improperly. Water flossers are less technique-sensitive than string flossing, and don't require you to put your hands in your mouth or deal with used string floss. With less technique and pain involved, many people have more incentive to include flossing to their daily routine.
Water flossing should never be used as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, but it is a great supplement to your daily routine. There are also instances where a water flosser may be an effective tool for you:
Bleeding Gums — There are a few common reasons why your gums would bleed. The first is gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a bacterial infection in your gums. Left untreated, it could lead to tooth loss. Flossing too hard can also cause bleeding gums. Oral irrigators can be a great way to clean problem areas without the pain caused by regular string flossing. Trying using the Oral-B Water Flosser set to sensitive mode before flossing to gently remove as much food as possible.
You Have Braces — Food tends to get stuck behind brackets and underneath wires when you have braces. Water flossers are great for reaching those tough areas where food particles hide. Plaque around brackets can cause multiple dental problems, including gum disease if left untreated.
You Have Dry Mouth — Saliva naturally cleans your mouth and prevents sticky plaque buildup. However, certain medications and genetics can keep some people from producing enough. That could lead to gum disease and cavities. A water flosser easily adds moisture to a dry mouth and removes sticky plaque.
Food Always Gets Stuck in Your Teeth — Some people are more susceptible to getting food stuck in their teeth than others. It could be due to the shape of your teeth, or that they’re not perfectly aligned. Food can also get stuck around dental work like bridges and dental implants. An Oral-B Water Flosser is the perfect tool to clean problem areas for people more prone to getting food stuck in their teeth, whether from genetics, bridges or implants. Plus, only the Oral-B Water Flosser targets and helps eliminate plaque bacteria* below the gum line for a comprehensive and effective clean.
To continue to get your best clean, be sure to follow a thorough oral care routine consisting of:
From Oral-B, the #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush brand, worldwide.
*Helps reduce plaque bacteria and inflammatory components associated with gingivitis, when used as an adjunct to brushing, flossing and regular professional care.
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