Oral irrigators, also known as water flossers, are an excellent tool for maintaining good oral hygiene.
They are particularly useful for individuals with braces, dental implants, and other dental work that makes it difficult to floss with traditional string floss.
However, like any tool, it is essential to use an oral irrigator correctly to get the most benefit. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use your oral irrigator.
Choose Right Tip
The first step in using your oral irrigator is to choose the right tip. Oral irrigators typically come with several tips, including a standard tip for general use, a specialized tip for cleaning braces or other dental work, and a tip for cleaning your tongue.
Choose the tip that is appropriate for your needs and attach it to your oral irrigator.
It is important to note that not all oral irrigator tips are created equal. Some tips may be too strong for sensitive gums and teeth, while others may not provide enough cleaning power.
Experiment with different tips to find the one that works best for you.
Once you have chosen the right tip, you are ready to fill the reservoir with warm water and/or mouthwash.
Fill the Reservoir with Warm Water or Mouthwash
Most oral irrigators have a reservoir that holds the water or mouthwash. Fill the reservoir with warm water and/or mouthwash to the fill line.
Using mouthwash can help kill bacteria in your mouth, leaving your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
It is essential to use warm water as it can help to soften any plaque or debris in your mouth, making it easier for the oral irrigator to remove it.
Once you have filled the reservoir, you can adjust the pressure settings to your liking.
Adjust the Pressure Settings
Most oral irrigators have adjustable pressure settings, allowing you to control the strength of the water stream. It is best to start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase the pressure until you find a comfortable setting.
It is important to note that using too much pressure can cause damage to your gums and teeth, so it is essential to find a pressure setting that is both effective and comfortable.
If you experience any discomfort or bleeding, reduce the pressure immediately.
Once you have adjusted the pressure settings, you can turn on the device and lean over the sink.
Turn on the Device and Lean over the Sink
Before you begin using your oral irrigator, make sure you are leaning over the sink. This will help to catch any water or debris that may fall out of your mouth.
Once you are in position, turn on the device and aim the tip at a 90-degree angle towards your gumline.
Aim the Tip at a 90-Degree Angle towards Your Gumline
When using your oral irrigator, it is important to aim the tip at a 90-degree angle towards your gumline. This will help to remove any plaque or debris that may be hiding in the pockets between your teeth and gums.
Make sure to move the tip along your gumline and between your teeth. Focus on problem areas or sensitive spots, such as areas where you have previously experienced bleeding or discomfort.
It is important to take your time when using your oral irrigator to ensure that you thoroughly clean your mouth.
Rinse Your Mouth with Water When Finished
Once you have finished using your oral irrigator, it is important to rinse your mouth with water. This will help to remove any remaining debris and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
Remember to clean your oral irrigator after each use to prevent the buildup of bacteria and debris. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
15 Tips for Effective Use of Your Oral Irrigator
- Choose the right nozzle: Different types of nozzles are available for different needs, so select the one that suits you the most.
- Fill it with warm water: Warm water helps in the smooth functioning of the device and makes it more comfortable.
- Start on low pressure: Start with a low-pressure setting and gradually increase it to avoid any discomfort or damage to your gums.
- Hold it at a 90-degree angle: Hold the nozzle at a 90-degree angle to your teeth and gums for optimum cleaning.
- Focus on one tooth at a time: Concentrate on one tooth at a time and move to the next one once it's clean.
- Use circular motions: Use circular motions to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly.
- Work from back to front: Start at the back of your mouth and work towards the front to avoid missing any areas.
- Spit out the water: Spit out the water and debris as you go along to avoid swallowing it.
- Use it after brushing: Use your oral irrigator after brushing your teeth to remove any remaining plaque and food particles.
- Clean the device regularly: Clean the device regularly to prevent any bacterial growth or clogging of the nozzle.
- Don't share it: Don't share your oral irrigator with anyone else to avoid the spread of germs.
- Avoid using mouthwash in it: Avoid using mouthwash in your oral irrigator as it can damage the device.
- Use it daily: Use your oral irrigator at least once a day for best results.
- Consult your dentist: Consult your dentist before using an oral irrigator if you have any dental issues or concerns.
- Be patient: It may take some time to get used to using an oral irrigator, so be patient and give it a chance to work.