Water flosser devices (also called oral irrigators) use a pressurized jet of water to remove food and plaque from between your teeth. They are great tools for people who have trouble performing traditional thread flossing between their teeth – including patients with braces!


How To Use A Water Flosser With Braces


water flosser

Water flosser devices are easy to bring into any dental routine, even if you have dental braces. Fill the water flosser tank with lukewarm water, then put the flosser tip in your mouth. Turn on the device; the water should come out in steady pulses, and you can adjust the pressure as needed (start on low!). As you work it around your mouth, let water flow out into the sink – remember to lean over the sink and close your lips to prevent splashing and messes.

It’s crucial to position the flosser tip the proper way to maximize how efficiently it works. Starting with the back teeth, hold the handle at a 90-degree angle to the teeth while working the spray along the gum line. Pause on each tooth and lightly brush the area between it and the orthodontic bracket, then move on to the next tooth.

Some water flosser devices come with an orthodontic tip specifically for those with braces. Orthodontic tips have a tapered brush to better remove plaque around the brackets and between teeth. It also can rinse out the bacteria and food stuck around teeth and under the gums.


Why Should I Choose A Water Flosser If I Have Braces?


While orthodontic work is the best way to correct alignment problems, improper oral hygiene with these devices can create different dental issues. These include gingivitis and decalcification (white marks), both of which lead to other health problems.

Gingivitis is a plaque that irritates the gum tissue; it can lead to an infection. Decalcification affects the enamel, causing white spots or lesions on your teeth through a combination of plaque and acid production. If these problems become too much, it can lengthen your treatment time.

While a water flosser isn’t required to prevent these issues, it can save you a lot of time and energy. Taking care of braces is a necessary chore, and if you’re looking to ease the experience, this instrument is a worthy investment.


What Should I Use Along With My Water Flosser?


dr baby and dr rojas - traditional flossing blog bodyOf course, water flosser devices don’t replace traditional flossing or a good, thorough brushing. Patients using them to clean their braces must still brush their teeth twice a day and continue their regular dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment.

Use fluoridated toothpaste or rinse to help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and decalcification. It doesn’t hurt to have floss threaders, little pieces of floss designed to thread dental floss under orthodontic braces, available when the water flosser device is out of reach.

For many patients, adding a water flosser device before or after regular tooth brushings can make their lives with braces – and ours, as the orthodontists – much easier!  Please note we stress that patients DO NOT use it on the highest setting as the force of water can cause perio pocketing or gingival trauma.