If you have braces or you’re just researching them ahead of time, you know that keeping them clean is important. It can also be a challenge. Any tool that can make it easier to remove food and drink debris from around your wires and brackets should be in your arsenal during your treatment. Not only could it save your braces, but it could also protect your teeth.
A Waterpik is a tool recommended by orthodontists as a great way to help your teeth stay clean and healthy during your treatment. Continue reading to learn why Waterpiks for braces are recommended and what you can use them for.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is a Waterpik?
A Waterpik is also known as a water flosser (Waterpik is a brand). The device traditionally looks like a small basin on a stand with a coiled hose coming out that leads to a small, toothbrush-like hose. Modern Waterpiks can also come in cordless models that combine the brush and basin.
Either way, you fill the basin with water and then turn the device on to build pressure. The brush can then be activated to shoot water out like a jet, similar to a dentist’s cleaning tools. A good Waterpik typically comes with a nob to change the intensity as well as interchangeable heads to change the stream.
Why Use a Waterpik for Braces?
The benefits of flossing are even more important when you have braces. Floss removes food and drink debris between your teeth. Which prevents a buildup of plaque, that can turn to calculus and lead to other problems, including gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.
However, flossing with braces can be difficult with the archwire in the way. An orthodontist can provide a threader, but even that can be difficult to use. As a result, many patients with braces get more cavities than usual. Calcification can occur under the wire due to the buildup of food debris.
Spraying a directed stream of water around the wire and against every face of the brackets allows you to remove plaque and food debris and prevent these issues easily. The water pulses, which massages your gums and can improve circulation, which can also improve health and healing.
Another great reason to use a Waterpik is that even successful flossing can lead to bleeding in some patients due to gum inflammation or location. A water flosser is easy to use, relatively painless and relaxing.
Why Removing Plaque is Important
We can’t stress enough how important plaque management is during your treatment. The bacteria that live in plaque respond to food and drink by producing acids that wear away your tooth enamel. This acid can build up, leading to cavities, gum disease (gingivitis), and tooth decay. Even the bones of the teeth can be damaged.
Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, so constant plaque removal is necessary, regardless of whether you have braces.
Tips for How to Use a Waterpik
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your Waterpik or generic water flosser:
- It’s a good habit to use the Waterpik after each meal to clean out debris as quickly as possible.
- Water flossing may have “flossing” in the name, but it isn’t a replacement for traditional flossing. A Waterpik cannot remove as much debris as floss can, so it’s best to do both.
- Use the pressure setting that is right for you. You don’t want the Waterpik to hurt, but you want it to feel like the water is pushing behind the gums and between the teeth. Use a lower setting if your mouth is more sensitive to pressure.
- Consider using half warm water, and half mouthwash in your Waterpik’s basin. This can improve the work of the Waterpik by giving you an anti-cavity rinse while you use it.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.