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Using a WaterPik With Braces

I have had my braces now for almost a year and a half. One of the first things you find out is that having braces makes taking care of your teeth much more difficult. Brushing takes longer, and flossing is a major chore.


My orthodontist had recommended I get a WaterPik. I had never used a WaterPik, but on his advice, I bought one. There are many different models of WaterPiks, but they pretty much all seem the same except for the attachments that come with them. So I bought a pretty basic model.


A WaterPik works by shooting a focused stream of water into your mouth in pulses. You can adjust the strength of the water jet with a little slide control. The instructions recommend using the highest setting you are comfortable with. I use the highest setting myself. Since the water is shooting into your mouth, it needs to go somewhere. So you will need to lean over your sink, and let the water dribble out of your mouth. It is messy the first few times you do it. But even with practice, it is hard to keep the water from splattering around the sink area.


I keep a 16oz glass next to my WaterPik, and will pour in two full glasses of water into the reservoir. I usually will use slightly warm water, because straight cold water can be a little uncomfortable.


I stick the tip into my mouth, and turn the unit on. Soon water is pulsing from the tip. First I go over the outsides of the tops and bottoms while holding the tip a little bit away from the teeth. I try to aim the jet of water into the gum line a little bit. Then I open my mouth some more, and blast the insides of the uppers and lowers, still trying to get the water under into the gums. Now starting in the back of the mouth, I will place the tip right against the crevice between two teeth, between the braces and the gums. I will aim the jet up and down to blast out any debris hiding between the teeth. Then I will move to the next crevice. I will do this until I have gotten all the teeth. I will just continue to go over the teeth with the WaterPik runs out of water. Then I will turn the unit off.


When I am done with the WaterPik, I will usually rinse my mouth out using some mouthwash such as Listerine. I figure that after having blasted all of the stuff off my teeth, the Listerine will be able reach and clean out anything left. Since I have started using the WaterPik, my dental cleanings have never gone better.


Rob Jacob has a blog about his adventures with braces at http://www.MyAdultBraces.com


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