Q: Should I Use a WaterPik® or WaterFlosser® ?

By Dr. Cheryl Bresnahan

We recommend the Waterpik® Ultra Water Flosser® because it has proven to be a very effective oral hygiene aide that significantly decreases the bacteria count and ultimately inflammation in the gum tissues surrounding the teeth. Bacteria starts gum disease and inflammation drives it.  Reducing the inflammation in your gum tissues with the Waterpik has proven to be one of the best aids available to help control gum disease.

To be effective, studies have proven that the pressure setting dial needs to be set at level 10 on the dial that ranges from 1 to 10.  If you are just starting out, you’ll have to start lower and then gradually increase the power setting as the gum tissues become healthy.

Instructions for Use

Please fill the reservoir with warm water only. There are some, including the directions from Waterpik, that recommend putting some Listerine or other mouthwash in the reservoir but I advise you to just use water. Their newest Waterpik called Waterpik Whitening Water Flosser has a reservoir for a whitening tablet that I also don’t recommend purchasing. There was a very convincing study that proved that if Listerine was used in the reservoir, they found Listerine in the brain tissue.  Your body is comprised between 50 – 65% water so putting warm tap water in the reservoir is all you need.

Your teeth need fluoride to prevent cavities so if you have brushed your teeth before using the Waterpik, be sure to end with some toothpaste again or fluoride rinse.

Waterpik recently changed their Waterpik Waterflosser design to be a little smaller and available in 4 different colors called Waterpik® Aquarius® Professional Water Flosser for $20 – $30 more than the original Waterpik® Ultra Water Flosser.  Bottom line is that the Waterpik® Ultra Water Flosser is all you need.

Important Note: Using a Waterpik around dental implants is not recommended. If you have a dental implant, please skip over it.

Dr. Cheryl Bresnahan is a licensed dentist and the founder of Dental Perfections in Whitewater, WI. If you'd like to ask her a question, please visit the Ask Dr. Cheryl section of our Web site.