Oral hygiene isn?t something that many of us are diligent about, although we really should be. It only takes a few minutes each day and it could have a drastic effect on your health, but you may even find that your personal life improves, too.
Not many people will want to talk to (or even kiss!) someone who has a bad case of halitosis - which is a problem that can be eliminated when you brush and use a water flosser instead of traditional floss.
In this guide, we?re going to cover a lot of ground about oral health, what a water flosser is much more. Without wasting any more time, let?s dive in!
Proper Oral Care
When you are lax about proper oral care, you could put yourself at risk of diseases like:
If you?re someone who already has diabetes, you?re already a potential candidate for developing gum disease. Gum disease is a problem in and of itself, but when you have diabetes, the gum disease is going to be more difficult to control and monitor.
If you happen to get an infection, it could cause an insulin resistance and that?ll wreak havoc on your blood sugar.
Did you know that if you have gingivitis (oral inflammation caused by bacteria) can have a damning effect on your cardiovascular system? The bacteria in your mouth could cause inflammation that will radiate throughout your entire body - including your arteries.
This inflammation could be the base for the development of atherosclerotic plaque forming in the arteries and increase your chances of suffering from a heart attack or a stroke. What?s even more alarming is that if you have a severe infection, the higher the risk may be.
Ladies, if you?re pregnant and have poor oral health, you are at risk of a premature delivery, but it could also lead to your child being born underweight.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an estimated 18 percent of low weight, preterm babies born in the United States could be attributed to the mother having an oral infection.
?How To Avoid Dental Problems
You can easily avoid these problems and more when you practice proper oral care. To do that, you have to be diligent with your brushing, flossing, and dental visits.
Remember way back when you were a little tyke and your parents would tell you to brush your teeth twice a day? They didn?t tell you to do that for fun - they wanted to get you in the habit of brushing because they knew it was important for your health and not just to prevent cavities or tartar buildup.
To brush your teeth, you?re going to want to hold your toothbrush at an angle where the bristles of the toothbrush are pointed downward toward the gums. Gently brush across your teeth in a back and forth motion, but also in circular motions.
You will want to do this on the front of your teeth, but also behind them and even in the back of your mouth. Don?t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth!
The tools you choose to brush your teeth with are equally as important the act itself. You should be using a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles. This tooth brush could be manual or electronic - although it is believed that the electric toothbrush is better for reducing plaque and gingivitis.
It?s a good idea to replace your toothbrush 4 times a year or whenever the bristles become frayed.
Brushing twice a day is a great first step to oral health, but your toothbrush isn?t going to be able to get in all those tight spaces in between your teeth. It?s here in these tight spots where food can get stuck, plaque can build up, and bacteria can fester.
To floss, you could either use the regular wax thread that your parents and grandparents may have used, or you could use a water flosser that will really blast away the bad things. We?ll go more in depth about water flossers and how to use them later on. For right now, we?re going to talk about regular flossing.
When you want to floss, you should do it once a day - preferably at night before bed. Break off about 18 inches of dental floss and wind it round the middle or index fingers of each hand. Leave about six inches in between your hands and hold the thread in place with your thumbs.
Next you?ll want to guide the floss between each of your teeth and gently rub. Be mindful to use caution when working near your gums so that you don?t hurt yourself! Curve the floss around the base of your tooth and gently rub the side of said tooth in an up and down motion. Be sure to unwind the floss as you go so you have a fresh bit of floss to work with.
No matter how much care you put into brushing and flossing your teeth, you need to visit a dentist periodically throughout the year. These dental visits will deep clean your teeth, but also make sure you don?t have any cavities or other oral health concerns.
You should make an immediate appointment if you notice any of the follow:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the alignment of your teeth
- Sensitive to hot or cold
- Persistent halitosis or a bad taste in your mouth
- Changes in how dentures and partials fit
- Difficulty swallowing food and drink
- Ulcers in your mouth that will not heal
What Is A Water Flosser
Now for the main reason why you?re here?what is a water flosser and why is it better than using traditional floss or floss pick.
A water flosser goes by a couple names: water flosser, oral irrigator, or a water pick. Whatever you want to call it, these devices will shoot a pressurized stream of water from a hand held device that looks like an electric toothbrush.
The user will aim that stream of water in between your teeth and at the gum line to remove food remnants and/or plaque from those areas.
Parts Of The Water Flosser
Not all water flossers are going to have the same features, however there are four basic parts of these devices that makes them work.
Water Tank Or Reservoir
The tank or reservoir is where the water (or mouthwash and water solution) is held. For countertop units, the tank could be as large as 30 ounces. The cordless options will have a significantly smaller reservoir - around 5 ounces or less.
If you opt for a water flosser that hooks up directly to a faucet or your shower head, you aren?t going to have a reservoir, as it is connected directly to a constant water source.
The water tips are the slanted tubes where the high-pressure stream of water is going to come out of. If you want other people to be able to use the flosser, look for a model that comes with color coded tips?one for each member of the family.
Also, it?s worth looking for flossers that have different types of types like an orthodontic tip and/or a toothbrush tip. The different types of tips will add versatility to your device and give you a better cleaning experience.
When you use one of these devices, it?s important to realize that you are going to be spraying high pressured water at a sensitive area. So it makes perfect sense that your water flosser should have a way to control the water pressure.
If you?re using a faucet or shower head model, you will not have a pressure control set up on the device itself; instead you will have to control the pressure through the controls on the faucet or shower head itself.
The handle is where the water flows and comes out of the tips when they are inserted. On the handle, you?ll find an on/off switch, a pause button, and some may even have a way to control the water pressure.
Who Should Use A Water Flosser
We?ve already discussed how important flossing is to your oral health, but we didn?t specify who would benefit from one or why a water flosser is a better choice over the string floss. Let?s fix that!
How To Use A Water Flosser
It might be a little intimidating using the water flosser for the first time, but you needn?t worry! Using one of these devices is incredibly simple and with a little practice, you can master it in no time.
How To Clean The Water Flosser
We recommend that you should clean your flosser about once a week. To do this, just run some white vinegar through the flosser several times. You can let the vinegar sit in the tubes for an hour or so before you rinse out the machine and use a carbonated water to flush out the system.
The acid from the vinegar will loosen mineral deposits that may build up and the carbonated water will rinse them away. It is recommended that you also run some warm water through the unit to get rid of any lingering taste from the vinegar.
Respected Manufacturers Who Make Water Flossers
As you begin your search for the best water flosser for your needs, it is worth pointing out that you don?t want to choose just any old flosser from some random company. You want to find a good flosser from a reputable manufacturer because they know what they are doing. Here?s a look at three of the top companies who make these great little devices:
is a company that is known for creating some of the best water flosser products. The company has been an industry leader in the personal and oral health care segment since 1962 and they aren?t showing any signs of stopping.
With countless patents under their belts for their innovative products like the much loved Waterpik Water Flosser, it?s no wonder why they are among one of the best. In their product line up, you?ll find a selection of countertop flossers, cordless flossers, tips and accessories, as well as products for professionals.
Oh, and they also have an impressive assortment of shower heads, too!
has a slogan that sums up their brand perfectly: ?Technologies that move us.? The Panasonic brand is known for creating affordable options for a variety of products - not just the Panasonic water flosser.
The company has been creating everything your home may need since 1918 and since then, they?ve made it a point to make their focus not about the product and making money, but focusing on people?s lives and how they can help folks ?live better.?
In their product lineup, you?ll see things like cameras, audio and visual electronics, grooming items for men and women, kitchen wares, and much more. If you?re looking for something, chances are Panasonic makes it.
is another company that makes a wide variety of products for their consumer base. The company has been a household name for more than 120 years thanks to the Philips light bulb, but since then, they?ve introduced countless innovative products to the market - not just the Philips water flosser.
You can find a bevy of sound and visual products, personal care, nursing items, household products, as well as accessories and computer items. When you want a company that has it all, Philips may be your go to company.
Oral health is something that we were taught and encouraged to do as a child. We were told to always brush our teeth and floss regularly. Even our dentists would get on our backs if it was clear that we weren?t as diligent as we should have been.
As an adult, it isn?t too late to improve your dental health! With a water flosser, you?ll be able to remove plaque buildup, food particles, and prevent bacteria from festering under the gum line, causing your gums to become inflamed.
With proper dental care, you can prevent or greatly reduce serious health problems like cardiovascular disease, respiratory infection, COPD and other problems. Flossing is just one step in maintaining good oral hygiene. You should still brush your teeth twice a day and still see your dentist on a regular basis.
There are many products available on the market that claim to be the best for your oral health, but a water flosser is the item that can really make a difference because it can get into those places where regular floss or toothbrushes can?t.
If you?re interested in checking out a water flosser for yourself, we?ve created a buying guide that will help you find the best product for your needs. We?ve also included 5 mini-reviews of products that we think are some of the best water flossers available today.