The Advantages of Using a Waterpik with Braces

What Are the Benefits of Using a Waterpik for Braces?

When you wear braces, you often need to work harder to maintain your oral hygiene and keep your teeth healthy. However, it can be difficult to give your teeth the deep cleaning they deserve when your braces are in the way. Fortunately, for those who are struggling, there are a variety of effective dental tools that can help you clean those hard-to-reach spots.

Waterpiks are one of the top tools that our orthodontists recommend to upkeep your teeth and braces while receiving treatment. If you wear braces, using a Waterpik daily can make an immense difference in the overall cleanliness of your mouth. Find out everything you might want to know about Waterpiks down below.

What Is a Waterpik?

A Waterpik is a dental tool known by professionals as an “oral irrigator.” Oral irrigators, more commonly called water flossers, are cleaning appliances that individuals can use at home to clean their teeth and braces effectively. Waterpiks use a pressurized stream of water to attack the debris, plaque, and buildup that forms between your teeth and your gums. These tools are able to reach spots that basic flossers and toothbrushes often can’t, allowing you to get food particles and bacteria that may be stuck in your braces.

What Is a Waterpik

While Waterpiks are not designed to replace toothbrushes or floss, they can be an essential aspect of your dental habits. This is especially true if you have braces.

How Do You Use a Waterpik with Braces?

Waterpiks are easy-to-use tools that can enhance your dental hygiene and keep your teeth clean, even with braces. Once you understand the basics, a Waterpik can quickly become a simple, powerful part of your teeth-cleaning routine.

Follow these steps when trying your Waterpik for the first time:

  1. Take the Waterpik’s reservoir and fill it up with warm water. When it’s full, attach it back to the base of the tool.
  2. Make sure the tip of your Waterpik is attached, and then comfortably lean over a sink.
  3. Insert the tip of the Waterpik into your mouth and begin streaming water on your upper back teeth.
  4. Start with low pressure until you feel more comfortable with the tool. From there, you can adjust the settings to what works best for you.
  5. Slowly work your way across your teeth and gumline from the back to the front. Pause slightly on each tooth to allow the water to penetrate plaque and debris.
  6. You should allow water to drain from your mouth into the sink as you floss. However, you should also try to keep your mouth closed when possible to avoid an extra mess.

The Advantages of Using Waterpiks with Braces

If you wear braces, you know just how challenging it can be to maintain them. By adding a Waterpik into your daily routine, you and your mouth can benefit in a variety of ways. The impressive advantages of using Waterpiks on braces include:

Your Equipment Stays Clean

One of the most challenging parts about having braces is cleaning your equipment. Unlike retainers that you can simply take out and clean, your braces are designed to remain on your teeth for your entire treatment. This means that you will need to meticulously clean your teeth and the equipment inside of your mouth; otherwise, bacteria, food, and plaque can easily build up around your braces. Using a Waterpik is one of the most efficient ways to keep your braces clean and free of buildup because the stream of water can reach every crevice of your equipment.

Remove Plaque, Buildups, and Trapped Food

Trapped food is one of the most common issues individuals with braces encounter because it is so easy for food to get caught in brackets and wiring. While floss can target some of the trapped food and plaque between your teeth, Waterpiks can penetrate food particles and severe buildups with the help of pulsating water. Because a toothbrush and floss can only do so much, using a Waterpik can help to finish the job and provide you with an immaculate clean.

Remove Plaque, Buildups, and Trapped Food

Stimulate Your Gums and Combat Gingivitis

Many people neglect their gum health because they don’t know how critical gum health is to your overall oral health. On top of a Waterpik’s ability to clean your entire mouth, these tools also help to stimulate your gums. The pulsating water of a Waterpik slowly massages your gums while cleaning any bacteria or debris in its way. If you regularly use a Waterpik, you can even fight gingivitis by encouraging the regrowth of your gum tissues and removing plaque.

Help to Prevent Stained Teeth from Braces

You can brush and floss your teeth every day while you have braces in place, but you won’t be able to conduct a full deep clean. This is because of the semi-permanent positions of your braces, which causes buildup to grow quickly around the equipment and even under it. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in stained teeth when your braces are removed. A Waterpik is one of the only at-home dental tools that can clean in and around your braces and ultimately help to prevent stains in the future. While a good toothbrush can clean the external elements of your braces, a Waterpik can reach in the cracks and behind your equipment.

Why Is It So Important to Keep Your Braces Clean?

Your braces will be attached to your teeth for a minimum of six months to a year. Because of this, keeping them clean is vital to your dental hygiene. Aside from the advantages of Waterpiks already listed above, here are a few other reasons you should keep your braces clean.

Why Is It So Important to Keep Your Braces Clean

Prevent Cavities

Because braces can cause food particles and plaque buildup in the area, you have to keep them clean to avoid other problems arising. When left untreated, the leftover food particles in your mouth can attack your enamel and ultimately cause cavities. Trapped food and debris in your braces should always be targeted to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy.

Keeps Discomfort Away

Braces can easily cause discomfort if they are uncared for. Think about it like this: braces are already an additional element in your mouth that your body is not used to. When you fail to maintain them and allow them to become full of food, there are even more elements in your mouth that can scratch, tear, or cause discomfort. By keeping your braces clean, you can fight additional discomfort and help your orthodontic appliance stay as effective as possible.

Stop Bad Breath

Bad breath is commonly associated with poor dental habits. This is because when a person fails to clean their teeth, tongue, gums, and orthodontic appliances, leftover food and other particles continue to build up. This can result in a foul smell, especially if your braces are involved. If you struggle with bad breath or are worried your braces are causing it, prioritize keeping your mouth as clean as possible and use a Waterpik for extra help.

Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

When you neglect your braces, you also neglect your teeth and the rest of your oral hygiene. It is imperative that if you wear braces, you work to maintain them properly. By doing this, you can help to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. When individuals don’t upkeep their braces properly, they can end up causing more dental issues for themselves in the future, including cavities, tooth staining, and ooth decay.

What to Know About the Different Kinds of Waterpiks

Waterpiks offer an effective method of oral irrigation, and they also come in multiple forms. This allows you to pick the tool that is right for you and your unique orthodontic situation. Waterpik has three main types of water flossers that you can choose from.

The Countertop Waterpik

The countertop Waterpik is the original design of the tool and comes with the most cleaning features. This Waterpik has a large reservoir that allows for a constant, pulsating stream of water that lasts longer than the average water flosser. It also comes with the ability to adjust your water’s pressure and various options for the flosser’s tip.

The Countertop Waterpik

The Sonic-Fusion Waterpik and Toothbrush

The Sonic-Fusion Waterpik combines the power of a water flosser and toothbrush to provide an impressive deep clean of your entire mouth. This influential technology is one of the first oral irrigators that also has the capabilities of an electric toothbrush. If you’re looking for a tool that can help you enhance your dental hygiene efficiently, the Sonic-Fusion Waterpik is the choice for you.

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The Cordless Waterpik

If you’re looking for a water flosser that you can take on the go, the cordless Waterpik is the perfect choice for you. This portable Waterpik helps anyone with braces or dental implants keep their teeth and equipment as clean as possible, regardless of where they might be. This flosser also works great if you have a small bathroom with little storage space.

 The Cordless Waterpik

Waterpik Frequently Asked Questions

While Waterpiks are extremely easy to use, you may have a few questions about how you can incorporate them into your routine.

Should You Use a Waterpik Before or After Brushing Your Teeth?
Like regular flossing, Waterpiks work to remove leftover particles that are stuck in your teeth and braces. This means that they are more beneficial when used before you brush your teeth. By using a Waterpik before you brush, you can dislodge any trapped debris or buildup and then brush it away when you’re done. You should then finish your routine with mouthwash to fight any bacteria that is left.
How Often Should You Use a Waterpik to Clean Your Braces?
While Waterpiks are less aggressive than other types of flossers, it’s still important that you don’t overuse them. Orthodontic and dental professionals recommend that you only use your Waterpik once a day during your nightly dental routine. This way, you can help to dislodge all of the food that got stuck in your teeth throughout the day and keep it from attacking your enamel. If you have a Waterpik, don’t be afraid to make using it a habit.
Can You Use a Waterpik If You Have Dental Implants?
If you have any kind of dental implant, using a Waterpik can change how you clean your teeth immensely. Because a Waterpik is gentle and uses water instead of string or metal, it can lightly clean in and around your implants with ease. A Waterpik will reach the spots that your toothbrush and floss can’t, helping you to maintain your implants properly and increase their longevity. Talk to our orthodontists if you’re interested in using a Waterpik with your implants today.
Do You Still Need to Floss If You Use a Waterpik?
Waterpiks are a specific type of flosser that use water to clean your mouth. However, they should not replace your regular flossing routine completely. Because Waterpiks should only be used once a day, any other issues with plaque or trapped food should be addressed with regular floss or brushing your teeth. Your Waterpik can be used at the end of the day for a comprehensive deep clean.
How Do I Know If a Waterpik Is Right for Me?
If you have braces, Waterpiks are always recommended because they can help you get a comprehensive clean of your entire mouth and your equipment. However, you don’t have to have braces to benefit from a Waterpik. Water flossers can help almost any patient, regardless of their dental or orthodontic situation. This is because they offer a form of cleaning that most people haven’t used on a regular basis. With the help of pulsating water, your teeth will experience a new form of clean if you begin using a Waterpik.

Should I Get a Waterpik for Braces?

How Do I Know If a Waterpik Is Right for Me

At Robison Orthodontics, we believe in delivering orthodontic care that makes a difference in our patient’s lives. To do this, we combine state-of-the-art technology, experienced professionals, and effective tools to help you enhance your smile. Waterpiks are one of our favorite tools, and we highly recommend that any patients with braces use them.

If you’re looking to learn more about Waterpiks and how they can help you maintain your braces, contact our team at Robison Orthodontics. For our orthodontic services, schedule a consultation with us today.


This article was originally published September 14, 2022 and has been updated August 31, 2023.


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