The Best Waterpik for Braces – Examining Features that Benefit Your Dental Work
Sometimes a solution meant to solve one problem can create many more. This is the case with braces- helping to realign teeth can cause numerous oral health issues.
The difficulty of brushing and flossing with braces can lead to a lack of responsible care practices, especially for younger users or those who are older with busier days. Gingivitis is the earliest sign and step of gum disease. Red, swollen, and/or shiny gums are all signs of irritation caused by plaque, which can then lead to infection.
Without braces, you might find traditional string floss to be effective enough for prevention of early gum disease. With braces, string floss just won’t work and the picks and brushes designed for braces still miss spots. The most flexible and adaptable form of flossing is by using a waterpik for braces.
Water flossers, or water picks, allow a user to easily reach behind braces and other spots that they might have been neglecting before. There are countless models and brands of water flossers on the market, but those with braces should look for some key features:
✅ Cost: Figure out how much you want to, or can spend, on a flosser- expect an average of $50, but also flossers towards and above $100.
✅ Interchangeable Tips/Special Tips: Many flossers allow you to change out the tips for sanitary purposes, but there are also interchangeable tips with different purposes. Look for a model that has compatible tips designed for braces and orthodontic work.
✅ Pressure/Pressure Settings: Most flossers have adaptable pressure below 100 PSI. Countertop, plug-in models, such as the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser, will have more power- and often more settings- than portable, rechargeable units. You might want higher pressure for dislodging food, but be careful of the pressure with sensitive work or implants.
There is of course a learning curve with using a water flosser, but someone with braces will agree there are quite a few learning curves associated with that alone. A water flosser will be easier and less frustrating to use than trying to use string floss or picks/brushes. This means young or impatient users will have a more effective cleaning in about a minute, versus a cleaning of any time with traditional floss methods. Although you are looking at water flossers to assist in the care of your braces and oral health, there are features you might want to consider that are optional or advanced.
A few common features are as follows:
✅ Portability: I mentioned that there are handheld units, and for those who travel a lot these might be a good option. They’re about twice as much in cost as plug-in flossers, and they have less pressure settings and power. If you’re on the go more often than not, that extra cost might be what keeps you from being held back.
✅ Other Users: If your family or partner might be using the flosser for their own oral care, make sure there are interchangeable and replaceable tips that are purchasable for the flosser. Also consider where these tips will be stored- in/on the unit, or elsewhere.
✅ Appearance/Design: If the flosser will be living on your counter, you might want to find one that looks nice. Many are white or black, but some come in brighter colors. As for design, you might prefer knobs over digital controls- or even how those look.
Many users do prefer their water flossers over traditional methods. They note how much healthier their gums are, even without braces. Most users find that the minute or two needed to use a water flosser is worth it, and usually quicker than flossing with string or picks.
There are of course design flaws and issues with many flossers- ease of button use, cleanliness, leaking- and those will have to be considered when you are looking for a flosser to purchase. Amazon and manufacturer websites are great resources for finding out what the real life operation of these flossers is like.
Maybe the first one you try won’t be perfect, but that does not mean it isn’t worth it to keep looking. An independent study found that water flossing is three times more effective than traditional floss, and five times more effective than manual brushing alone. If those numbers don’t convince you, try it for yourself. Stop struggling and wasting time when there is a quick and truly easy way to properly care for your braces and oral health- water flossing is what you want.