If you’re searching for ways to boost your oral hygiene routine, you’ve likely come across the Waterpik device. A Waterpik is a popular brand of water flosser that emits a pressurized stream of water to target plaque, debris, food particles and bacteria.

Is this a good alternative to traditional flossing? Let’s find out!

Do water flossers work?

According to research published in Dentistry Journal, water flossers have proven to reduce plaque, gum inflammation and bleeding. These devices are a highly-effective supplement to your oral hygiene routine.

But what if you have braces or Invisalign/Spark clear aligners?

Water Flosser Vs. Floss with Braces

Can you use a water flosser with braces? You sure can!

In fact, Waterpiks are clinically proven to be “3 times as effective as string floss” for patients with braces, and “over five times more effective than brushing alone for the reduction of plaque biofilm.”

For bleeding gums, the Water Flosser was 26% more effective than flossing and 53% more effective than brushing alone!

If you don’t have floss threaders (specialized loops that help you insert floss through your brackets and wires), flossing with regular string floss can be challenging with braces. Water flossing doesn’t require you to navigate through brackets and wires, and may be the easier route for you.

Water Flosser Vs. Floss with Clear Aligners

If you’re in orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or Spark clear aligners, you don’t have any brackets or wires to work around when flossing. However, as we now know, water flossing is more effective at removing plaque and bacteria than traditional flossing, which means you may still choose to use a water flosser!

Does a Waterpik replace flossing?

While some health organizations recommend water flossing over string flossing, others (like Mayo Clinic and WebMD) say that water flossers are not a sufficient substitute for dental floss.

If you aren’t sure whether water flossing is sufficient for your oral hygiene routine, ask your dentist during your next cleaning! Based on your current oral hygiene and any risk factors you have, your dentist may advise that you supplement your routine with a water flosser – rather than substitute.

How do I use a Waterpik water flosser with braces?

According to WaterPik, here are 6 simple steps to water floss with braces:

(Consider using the Orthodontic Tip attachment with a specialized brush to promote plaque removal between braces.)

  1. Fill the Water Flosser reservoir with lukewarm water and place it firmly on the base.
  2. Insert the flosser tip and click into the handle.
  3. Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure), lean over the sink, and place the tip in your mouth.
  4. Turn the unit on. Close your lips to prevent splashing and let water flow from your mouth into the sink.
  5. Starting with the back teeth, aim the tip at the gumline. Pause and lightly brush the area between the teeth and all around the orthodontic bracket or appliance.
  6. Proceed to the next tooth until your whole smile is clean!

Final verdict: Is a Waterpik better than flossing?

The verdict is in – a Waterpik is more effective than string floss! But it all comes down to your preferences in the end. Is water flossing easier for you than string flossing? Are you more likely to floss consistently if you use a water flosser?

Either way, the most important thing is that you floss regularly – regardless of the technique you choose. Flossing helps to prevent gum disease, keeps bad breath at bay, and supports incredible treatment results when your braces are removed or your clear aligner treatment is complete.

Still have questions about flossing with braces?

We have answers! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We’ll help you make the best decision for your smile and quality of life.

Dr. Saxe is your highly-experienced family orthodontist in Summerlin, Las Vegas! Our team is here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit to your last appointment.

Request your complimentary consultation with us today!