What Is a Water Pick?

Water Pick

A water pick, sometimes called a water flossing device or oral irrigator, is a tool that cleans and sanitizes your teeth and gums in the same way regular floss does, but it uses water and pressure instead of a waxed nylon string.

What’s the Difference?

If you are old enough to read this post, you are definitely old enough to have flossed quite a bit in your lifetime (hopefully). Flossing takes skill and practice in order to be effective. You need a long enough piece of floss to wrap each end around your fingers — you can’t just grasp it on either end, it will become wet and hard to hold on to. Once you have a good grip, you should wiggle the floss gently down between teeth to extract food before it turns into plaque.

Water flossing is entirely different. The pick, shaped similarly to the tools dentists use in their offices to rinse your mouth, is hooked up to a reservoir of water. To floss, you turn the unit on the desired setting, lean over the bathroom sink and direct the spray toward your teeth and gum line. It is a less invasive type of flossing and better for gums that tend to bleed.

Pick or Floss?

Water flossing is preferable for those who wear braces, as it can be next to impossible to floss effectively and remove all traces of food particles. A water pick can flush out bacteria and help keep teeth with orthodontia healthy and clean.

A water pick may work well for those with dental implants as well. Implants require regular, gentle flossing, but this can sometimes be uncomfortable. Picks can help overcome this obstacle, since it’s a much more enjoyable method of oral care.

Can You Substitute Water Flossing for Traditional Flossing?

Everyone’s teeth are unique. Contrary to what many may believe, dental routines naturally vary based your personal needs.

If your teeth are close together, the only way to truly eradicate all of the bacterial build-up from food particles is to gently loosen the debris with traditional waxed dental floss. Water flossing is powerful, but normally not powerful enough to have the comprehensive cleaning effect that flossing should.

It’s best to talk to your family dentist and find out what he or she recommends for your teeth. Call the professionals at Oak Hills Dentistry to learn more about flossing and how to use water pick.