How to Use a Water Flosser

How to Use a Water Flosser

String flossing can be a difficult, time-consuming, and even painful experience that doesn’t even guarantee the complete cleanliness of your teeth. Dentists and orthodontists alike have been recommending using water flossers lately which could be the solution to resolving the issues of normal flossing, but how does it work? Read more to find out how to properly how to use a water flosser and never go back to picking your teeth with floss ever again.

How it Works

How to Use a Water Flosser. A variety of water flossers around a sink

Unlike normal flossing, a water flosser uses a concentrated stream of water to “pressure wash” out all of the bacteria and plaque left between and on your teeth. This can help prevent gum inflammation and periodontal infections. Water flossers are especially effective for people with braces, kids, and people with low dexterity who may find flossing difficult, but water flossers are preferred to normal flossing for everyone no matter their age or abilities. The device is usually plugged in and consists of a small tank of water connected to a tube that affixes to a cleaning attachment. There are other models of water flossers that are portable and cordless, are for kids, and have dual electric toothbrushing capabilities, so decide which of these models will fit your needs.

Set Up

How to Use a Water Flosser. Tips for a water flosser sit in storage

First, you’re going to set up your water flosser beside a sink or other area for water to drain with an outlet nearby for a safe plugin. Next, fill the reservoir with lukewarm water. Warm water is best to use for sensitive teeth and is the most comfortable to use. You can also try adding a small amount of mouthwash to the reservoir to add some minty freshness to your flossing routine. Choose your preferred tip and affix it to the device. Most water flossers come with a variety of options such as the classic tip, orthodontic tip, and toothbrush tip that can be used for a variety of different oral hygiene purposes, but you can’t go wrong with using the classic tip especially if you’re just starting out. It’s always a good idea to flush out the system especially if it’s your first time using the device. Turn the pressure up to high, point the tip into the sink, and let the water run for a few seconds then turn it off. This ensures that any bacteria previously in the machine is flushed out as well as any cold or stale water that might irritate your gums. Now you’re ready to use your water flosser!

How to Use a Water Flosser

How to Use a Water Flosser. Woman with braces uses flosser to clean teeth

If this is your first time, turn the water pressure to the lowest setting and place the tip into your mouth, leaning over the sink so you don’t make a mess on your counters. Adjust the pressure as needed, being sure not to have it on too high especially if you have sensitive gums. Keep your mouth slightly closed to allow the water to flow out, or keep your mouth completely closed and spit out water from time to time. Without placing the tip directly on your teeth or gums, hold the tip parallel to your gum line and let the water flush out bacteria from between your teeth. It’s best to start at your molars and work your way to the front of your mouth. Be sure to pause between teeth to ensure you get all residue flushed out. Focus on the top of your teeth, between your teeth, and behind your teeth to ensure a thorough clean. It should take about two minutes to complete this process, and when you’re finished turn off and unplug your machine, empty any leftover water in your reservoir, and remove the tip.

Long Term Care

How to Use a Water Flosser. Portable water flosser sits on table

Be sure that you clean your water reservoir regularly as well as swap out your tips every few months. It is very easy for mold to develop in all parts of this device and be sure that everything is as dry as possible when done using to ensure no bacteria grows. 


Now you know exactly how to use a water flosser as well as how to care for it. Water flossing is a great alternative to regular string flossing and can be better for your overall oral health. Impress your dentist by purchasing a water flosser today. This device is very easy to use and can be a great investment for your whole family!

Written by Sophia Schultz

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