Can I use a waterpik instead of flossing?
The answer is you should try to use BOTH! They are complimentary in what they accomplish. Both will help stimulate your gums and also remove plaque, but they do it in slightly different ways. We will discuss the similarities and differences. Flossing removes plaque that is in between the teeth as well as under the gums. It keeps the gums healthy. Floss is relatively inexpensive, and will generally cost less than $5. Flossing can be a little challenging if your gums are sensitive or irritated, but with continued use the tissue should heal quickly. People with braces know that flossing can be a real chore, but floss threaders make it a lot easier to get under the wires. Flossing with braces is very important because it allows the teeth to move more freely.
A water pik uses bursts of water to flush plaque out from underneath the gums. It is gentle, and convenient for people who wear braces. It also can help to clean around the wires and brackets; although it may be harder to get to the back of the mouth with the tip of the waterpik. There are 2 different types of water piks: cordless or counter top models. They both have different pressure settings and tips/attachments to aid with the cleaning. Cost is around $50.
For those of you who have a water pik…USE IT! I’m not suggesting you have to go out and purchase one. A regular toothbrush and good ole’ floss will keep your mouth clean and healthy.