Can You Get a Water Flosser if You Are Not a Dentist? Best Options
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Table of Contents
- What Are Water Flossers?
- Can I Get a Water Flosser for Home?
- Most Popular Brands & Types
Yes, water flossers are available to the general public. You don’t have to be a dentist to get one.
There are several types of water flossers. The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains a list of some of the best types and brands. Both countertop and handheld options have benefits.
Water flossers are an increasingly popular option to clean between your teeth. Although flossing or using interdental brushes still provide better cleaning, water flossers offer help to people who have sensitive gums or gum disease, people with orthodontics like traditional braces, or people who have chronic health conditions like arthritis and cannot hold floss very well.
What Are Water Flossers?
When you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist, your mouth is regularly rinsed out with jets of water. This helps to gently remove material from between your teeth. At home, though, you typically remove material with dental floss or interdental brushes. Can you also use a jet of water?
Water flossers are becoming more common as an addition to oral hygiene routines. While water flossers are typically not considered a replacement for flossing or interdental brushes, they can help to remove particles and plaque from hard-to-reach areas, and they are gentle on the gums. In fact, they are great options for people who have sensitive gums, people who are undergoing treatment for periodontal disease, and people who have recently had oral surgery.
Can I Get a Water Flosser for Home?
A water flosser is a handheld device that helps to remove food particles or plaque from between your teeth and along the gumline. You may be most familiar with these devices because of your dentist’s office, but there are several commercial brands available.
Water flossers are useful tools for certain situations.
- Braces: If you have traditional wire braces, flossing or using interdental brushes can be much more difficult. You are at risk of breaking part of the system or not being able to reach fully between your teeth. A water flosser can remove particles from between your teeth, and from between the braces and your teeth. This reduces plaque and the risk of cavities.
- Periodontal disease: One sign of periodontal disease like gingivitis or periodontitis is frequently bleeding gums, especially when you floss or brush your teeth. Your gums may also become inflamed, red, and sensitive or painful, so flossing or using interdental brushes can be much more difficult. It is vital to get treatment for periodontal disease, but while you undergo this treatment, you can switch to a water flosser to prevent plaque buildup without hurting your gums.
- Chronic physical conditions: Many people who use water flossers are not able to use floss or interdental brushes due to inflammatory conditions, joint pain, or other chronic health struggles. For example, people with arthritis may struggle to hold small objects like an interdental brush, but they can hold a water flosser at the correct angle.
Cleaning between your teeth at least once per day is the best way to reduce plaque buildup that can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. While dental floss and interdental brushes are the preferred method, water flossers are an important additional option for many people.
What Are the Most Popular Water Flosser Brands & Types?
Now that you know how a water flosser can improve your oral hygiene, how do you know which water flosser to purchase? One of the best lists comes from the American Dental Association (ADA); they maintain a list of water flossers that are most effective.
- Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser: Waterpik is one of the most recognized brands of water flossers, and their small, cordless version has an ergonomic shape for easy grip and lift to your mouth. This smaller device is also cheaper than most types of water flossers, which take up a lot more space on your bathroom countertop.
- Sonicare Airfloss Ultra: Philips is a well-respected appliance brand that has branched out into water flossers, including this handheld version. Although it is more expensive than the Water Pik version, Sonicare uses a proprietary combination of water and air sprays to more effectively clean your teeth.
- Aquarius Water Flosser: Another Waterpik brand item, this slightly larger, traditional water flosser has a large water reserve that can hold either tap water or mouthwash. There are different settings for the spray, including one that pulses to massage your gums. It also has different tips for the water jet, so you can most effectively clean between your teeth.
There are several other types of water flossers, so you can choose a combination of item size, water tank size, and jet tips to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Water Flossing. Mouth Healthy, from the American Dental Association (ADA).
What is a Water Flosser and Should You Be Using One? (February 2019). Self.
Powered Interdental Cleaners. Mouth Healthy, from the American Dental Association (ADA).
Five Best Water Flossers of 2021 for Your Cleanest Teeth Ever. (February 2020). Good Housekeeping.
An Overview of Different Interdental Cleaning Aids and Their Effectiveness. (March 2019). Dentistry Journal.