what is a waterpik

If you’ve used any water-based cleaning product sometime in the last decade, it was probably a Waterpik product. What exactly is Waterpik, and what do they do? They are known specifically for their signature oral care device, the Waterpik dental water jet a.k.a. water flossers or oral irrigators. They also manufacture shower heads and additional oral care devices like electric toothbrushes.

Types of mouth care: brushing, flossing, oral irrigation

There are various types of oral care products available to consumers, the most obvious being toothbrushes and floss. Brushing teeth can remove some dental plaque and tartar from teeth, as well as reduce cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Flossing can remove plaque from between the teeth that tooth brushing can miss, and removes decaying food that may linger there. Some people use interdental brushes in favour of floss because they are less rough on the gums.

Lately, a new method of oral home care has been surging in popularity known as oral irrigation. This is what Waterpik can assist you with. Oral irrigators clean by using a powerful stream of water to clear plaque and food debris from the teeth and gum line.

Effectiveness of oral irrigation

Due to the nature of a water stream, oral irrigators can clean up to 4mm below the gum line – substantially further than flossing and brushing. Furthermore, since food debris is cleaned and the mouth is being washed simultaneously, there consumers often feel an immediate sense of cleanliness after water flossing.

This is in contrast to flossing, where some odorous debris can still remain after flossing. One negative of oral irrigators is that they may be too rough on sensitive gums. There are methods to reduce the strength of the water jets, such as by changing Waterpik tips or lowering the pressure settings. However, this reduces efficiency and the Waterpik will not clean as effectively.

One undisputed advantage that Waterpik has in the area of oral care is its ease of use and efficiency at cleaning teeth with braces. Flossing through and around braces is an arduous task, and even brushing teeth can be cumbersome. One would require a tool that has excellent maneuverability and cleaning potential to accomplish this task.

Luckily, oral irrigators fit this task perfectly, letting users clean in small spaces that braces cover up. With that said, oral irrigators should still be used in addition to regular brushing and dental check-ups at a minimum – do not place your entire dental hygiene in the care of just an oral irrigator.


Waterpik manufactures two primary types of oral irrigators – a countertop model and a cordless, portable model. Cordless models have two pressure settings as well as a plethora of removable tips for different purposes and teeth. The countertop model relies on a large reservoir of water as its water supply.

It can have up to ten different pressure settings for that optimum strength, as well as an assortment of tips for more customization. Newer Waterpik models even have toothbrush tips attached, letting users water floss and brush their teeth simultaneously.

Photo Credit: waterpik

Related article: http://www.flosseroo.com/what-is-an-oral-irrigator/

Check out my review on the best water flosser here.