Last month we talked about why and how you should be using water flosser. Water flossers are extremely helpful for cleaning deep periodontal pockets, between hard-to-reach teeth, and around dental implants. In fact, it’s Dr. Saunders’ preferred oral hygiene method right alongside using an electric toothbrush.
However, the first few times you use a water flosser can come as a little bit of a shock. We’re not going to lie to you: until you get the hang of it, water flossing can be a little messy.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you enjoy a “mess-free” experience when you’re adjusting to using a hydro flosser or Waterpik.
Lean Over the Sink
You’re about to unleash a spray of water that will need somewhere to go. Plan to lean directly over your sink so that you’re not accidentally spraying water onto the counter or getting it on the floor.
Keep Your Mouth Open
Don’t close your mouth when you’re using a water flosser. All of the water will need somewhere to go. As you’re leaning over the sink, keep your mouth open so that it simply drips back down the drain. Try to look straight down into the sink instead of up toward the mirror, that way the water won’t go down your chin.
Start with the Pressure Set on Low
Once you turn your water flosser on, there’s a good chance that the pressure will cause some tickling sensations. Most of us never realized that our mouths could tickle until we tried a water flosser for the first time. Keep the pressure low, then gradually bump it up to where you’re comfortable. This setting will differ for everyone. Chances are, you’ll want it low in the beginning then medium to medium-high after several days of practice. The tickling will eventually go away.
Use Room Temperature or Slightly Warm Water
The temperature of the water that you’re using is very important. If it’s too hot or cold, your teeth will feel extremely sensitive. Play around with various temperatures until you get it just right. Start with lukewarm, room-temperature water. If that still feels too cool, go with a couple of degrees warmer.
Consider Using it in the Shower
Certain water flosser designs are either portable or can be attached directly to your shower head. In either case, being able to use your water flosser in the shower means there’s practically zero risk of making a mess. Some people even prefer to brush their teeth in the shower. Whatever works for you personally, that’s what we recommend sticking with. The key is to find a routine that you’re comfortable with and will remember each day.
A Smart Investment in Your Smile
Whether you’re combatting gum disease or caring for dental implants, water flossing is one of the most effective ways to keep your smile clean. Our cosmetic dentist (The Woodlands) highly recommends using a water flosser at least once a day.
If you have an area in your mouth that’s sensitive, swollen, or bleeds each time you brush and floss, request an exam with our expert periodontist.