There’s nothing like that just-left-the-dentist feeling after you get your teeth cleaned. Of course, many of us try our best to floss every day and keep tooth decay and Gingivitis at bay, but you can never really replicate that oh-so-clean feeling you get after the leaving the dentist’s rooms when you’re flossing at home. Sure, traditional flossing is effective but isn’t it time this age-old practice got an upgrade?
That’s exactly where water flossing comes in. This new-age flossing technique is said to be more effective than traditional flossing and promises to give you that super clean teeth feeling every day. But how does it work exactly and is it worth splashing out on a water flosser for your home? I tried Waterpik’s Cordless Plus Water Flosser for 1 month to see if it’s worth ditching the old-school floss for this fancy-pants tool.
People with braces have been using water flossing devices for some time now, but these clever cleaners have recently become super popular with the general public as many started to realise that anyone could use (and potentially benefit from) using one at home.
But, is water flossing as effective as regular flossing?
The easy-to-use water flossing devices use a pressurised stream of water to easily and effectively remove food particles and plaque stuck between teeth and along the gum line, freeing you from the schlep of using conventional floss. According to Waterpik, using a Waterpik Water Flosser for 1 minute a day is clinically proven to remove up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas along the gum line and between teeth, and thereby help prevent, reduce, and reverse gingivitis (gum disease) and prevent tooth decay and future dental work.
While water flossing is extremely effective, most dentists will recommend that you use a combination of conventional floss and water flossing to really get the best results. According to my dentist, the best method of cleaning your teeth involves first using traditional string floss to remove and dislodge anything stuck between your teeth, and then using a water flosser to flush it all out. Lastly, finish off by brushing your teeth to really clean away any food particles left behind.
Hands-on with the Waterpik Cordless Plus Water flosser
My experience using the Waterpik Cordless Plus Water flosser was an interesting one. The device comes with 4 interchangeable tips, each with a different use so it took a bit of time to familiarise myself with all the different tips at first. There’s the Classic Jet tip for general use, Plaque Seeker tip for removing plaque in hard-to-reach places (best for implants, crowns, veneers and bridges), Orthodontic tip for braces, and the Tongue cleaner tip to remove bacteria from the tongue.
Once I was confident I was using the right tip it was time to get started on cleaning my teeth. My first attempt at using the device made quite a splash… literally. I made a big mess in the bathroom trying to figure out how to manoeuvre the device around my teeth and ended up getting water everywhere but inside my mouth. After a few minutes, I decided to down my tools and head to YouTube for a tutorial. Any sane person would have done this step first but apparently, I enjoy doing things the hard way. If you’re using a water flosser for the first time I highly recommend you do a little bit of research on the proper technique before attempting to use your new device.
After a few uses I eventually got the hang of it and I started to notice a real difference in the feel of my teeth. Using the Waterpik flosser I definitely feel like I get a more effective clean than I do when using conventional floss. My mouth feels noticeably cleaner after using it and it’s a lot more gentle on my gums and fillings than ordinary floss. I absolutely loathe flossing but this nifty gadget has made it easier to floss and after 1 minute my mouth feels squeaky clean and fresh.
While the device does a great job of cleaning, some days I did try out using a combination of traditional floss and the Waterpik flosser if needed a more thorough clean. I found that sometimes, stubborn food tends to stay behind when using the Waterpik flosser so using a combination of normal floss to loosen any stubborn particles and following up with the Waterpik to blast them away left my mouth feeling ‘been-to-the-dentist’ clean!
The device has two pressure control settings (low for sensitive gums and high for deep cleaning) as well as an on-off switch on the handle to make using it easier and more efficient. There’s also a removable water reservoir on the back of the device which offers 45 seconds of water capacity. Starting out with the device, I found I was constantly running out of water and needed to refill the reservoir a couple of times but as I got more accustomed to using it more effectively I needed to do this less often.
Should you buy a water flosser?
Water flossers are a solid choice if you need help flossing effectively. In my experience, these devices are a great way to pick up the flossing habit and get an easier, more effective clean, especially for people who aren’t too keen on traditional flossing methods.
Waterpik offers a wide range of water flossers, but for me this cordless, rechargeable device is ideal. It’s relatively inexpensive and does the job perfectly well. This device is the perfect entry-level device for anyone who is hesitant about trying oral irrigators. If you’re looking for even more cleaning power, then you can invest in a more sophisticated model but for me, the Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser is perfectly sufficient.
If you’re looking to save money on dental visits or maintain the results from your last dentist visit for longer, then investing in a water flosser like the Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser is a great way to do this. Of course, there is no substitute for regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings, but a trustworthy home remedy, like water flossing can help keep teeth and gums healthy between visits, and even reverse gingivitis.
The Waterpik 450 Cordless Plus Water Flosser retails for R1,299 and is available online from the Waterpik website or through Takealot.com as well as at selected dentists and Dis-Chem stores.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.