Can water flossers actually make a difference in your gum health?
Is there proof that they can reduce Gingivitis, periodontitis and gum bleeding, and remove plaque?
Since I’ve problems with my teeth my entire life, this new technology has definitely caught my attention.
Going to the dentist is not one of my favorite ways to drain my bank account (or spend the afternoon), so I tend to get the occasional gum inflammation and tooth pain.
(See how I use activated charcoal to relive tooth pain – opens in a new window)
This is why I started looking for the best ways to prevent cavities and gum disease.
When a friend showed me her WaterPik water flosser, I had to check it out.
What did I find?
About 6-7 hours of research has led me to discover the science-backed, amazing benefits of water flossers, and specifically the ADA-accpted WaterPik.
What is a Water Flosser?
Water picks are a way to thoroughly clean between and around your teeth, by spraying streams of water in steady pulses.
(I remember my dentist using something similar to clean my teeth during treatments)
Apparently, using a water pick will remove food, bacteria and even plaque around your teeth and gum pockets.
Tooth flossing with water is supposed to be easier than string flossing – and more effective.
They are highly recommended for everyone who has had dental work (which makes it more difficult to floss) – like braces, permanent or fixed bridges etc.
They are also recommended for preventing gum infection and inflammation.
But do they really work? are they proven to work?
You’ll find all the answers in this post.
The 7 Incredible Water Flossers Benefits
Through my research I’ve found that daily use of water flossing is a proven way to reduce your chances of gum infections, Gingivitis and periodontitis, and removing plaque.
According to Carol Jahn, RDH, MS , water picks have been evaluated more than 50 times since its introduction in 1962.
Here are the science-backed benefits:
1. Water Flossers Reduce Periodontal Infection.
The pulsating action of the water picks gets deeper in the gum pocket and removes bacteria.
For example, this study has found that teeth treated with oral irrigator had bacteria reduction up to 6 mm.
2. 99% Plaque Reduction
Water flossers were proven to remove more than 99% of plaque in the treatment area, which greatly reduces the chance of periodontal disease.
For example, this study has found that you only need 3 seconds of water flossing to (with the classic Jet Tip) at medium pressure – to remove 99.9% of plaque in the treatment area.
3. Reduced Gum Inflammation
Many studies have proven that people using water picks daily do better at reducing gum bleeding and Gingivitis – than people who don’t.
For example, this study has shown that compared to tooth brushing, only water flossing can reduce the inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-1b, which was correlated with less gum bleeding.
4. Water Flossers are Safe and Effective Around Implants
If you have implants, you already know that maintenance is critical for their “survival”.
This study has proven that using the “Pik Pocket” Tip (you get with the WaterPik) removed more plaque, had less bleeding and less Gingivitis.
5. Best for Cleaning Orthodentic Appliances
I’m sure you’ll agree:
Most adolescents find it challenging and tedious to keep their orthodontic appliances clean.
The good news is:
This study has shown that those who used a water flosser (with the Waterpik orthodontic tip) removed 3 times more plaque than those who only brushed their teeth, and reduced bleeding by 84%.
6. Easy to Use – for Everyone
Water flossers are easy to use, take less effort (and time) than string flossing, and people of all ages can use it without assistance – even 6-year old children.
7. Proven to Help Diabetics
People with diabetes tend to have more periodontal disease and more severe gingivitis inflammation.
This study with diabetic patients, has proven that those who used an oral irrigator for 3 months had 44% more reduction in bleeding and 41% more reduction in Gingivitis over those who have not used them.
And now, here’s why I focused on the WaterPik flosser:
WaterPik WP-660 Aquarius Water Flosser Review
WaterPik is the leading name in water flossers, it is ADA-accepted (American Dental Association), FDA cleared and was proven effective in several clinical studies.
How popular is the WaterPik flosser?
Well, it has obviously gained a lot of hype lately.
The Aquarius model (the one I chose) has more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon, most of them reporting healthier gums in 2 weeks or less.
I believe it’s the best waterpik on the market.
The WaterPik WP-660 has 10 pressure settings (highly versatile, fits everyone), 90 seconds of water capacity, a LED mode display and a convenient 1-minute timer.
It also has a massage option – which is great for boosting blood circulation in your gums.
The Aquarius comes fully built and ready to use, is easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and I liked the hidden flossers tip compartment, as you can see in the image below:
And the best thing?
It has a 3-year warranty, valid on Amazon as well.
Here are the Flossers Tips You Get with the WaterPik:
The WaterPik comes with 7 water flossing Tips:
- 3 classic tips – for general use, instead of dental flossing. Fits people with no crowns or “serious” dental work.
- 1 toothbrush tip – I don’t use it, I prefer my Sonicare toothbrush
- 1 plaque seeker tip – for use if you have anything more than fillings (implants, crowns, bridges, veneers etc). I use it as a my daily tip all around my teeth.
- 1 pik pocket tip – fits people with periodontal pockets and is meant to use at the lower pressure. I use it before or after my primary Waterpik rinse, and probably just on the areas that need it.
- 1 Waterpik Orthodontic Tip for use with braces and orthodontics.
You can choose brush heads and settings – based on your needs.
Check today’s price for the WP-660 model HERE.
How to Use the WaterPik
The Waterpik Aquarius comes fully built and ready to use once you open the box.
The controls on the Aquarius water flosser are simple and straight forward to use.
There are 10 pressure settings, and 2 modes: flosser or massager, located on the left hand side of the model.
You start by using the lowest “1” pressure setting and then turn the pressure up one notch per day to get your gums adjusted to the Waterpik’s pressure gradually.
If you do this, you should be on “10”, or whatever setting you prefer, in no time and with no gum bleeding.
Here’s a short video demonstrating how to use the WaterPik:
The WaterPik has several models, you can see all of them and their prices (updated for today) in the table below:
I dug a little deeper, and found the answers for a few of my questions:
- Can you share the WaterPik with your spouse?
Yes, you can share it, just switch out the tips.
- Is the WaterPik messy to use?
The first time I used the WaterPik, things got pretty messy.
The water “flew” all over my bathroom mirror.
Next time I learned to only turn it on after the flosser is in my mouth, and to keep my mouth as closed as possible, leaving only a small gap.
That’s all there it to it.
- Is the WaterPik noisy?
Well, yes, it is not silent at all. You can definitely hear the motor running, so it’s better to use it before everyone goes to sleep.
All in all, if you’re looking to improve your gum health, prevent more cavities and gum bleeding, water flossing is the most effective way to floss in 2018.
I actually find it a fun and playful experience, way more than string flossing, and the fresh feeling in my mouth afterwards is another bonus.
If you have the countertop space you are all set, because its price is definitely worth it, and is a relatively low investment compared to the amazing benefits.
I would go for one of the popular WaterPik models, especially the Aquarius, the most advanced model today.
Have you ever tried water flossing your teeth? What do you think? share your experience with us in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,