How to Use a Waterpik

Oral health is something of which many people don't get enough, but that doesn't mean you should stop looking for ways to improve the quality of your teeth and gums. Brushing your teeth is a great habit, assuming you perform the task properly and an adequate number of times per day, but brushing isn't the only aspect of oral care.

Flossing is nearly as important as brushing since toothbrushes can't reach many of the areas between teeth, leaving them untouched during the brushing process. However, flossing is often difficult, messy, and irritating, so it is often overlooked in an oral hygiene regimen.

There is an alternative to flossing that is quite preferable, and it uses a similar method to clean between teeth with a thin stream of water. Water flossing is now possible thanks to products like the Waterpik water flosser.

8 Steps to Using a Waterpik

The results speak for themselves; water flossers are much less invasive than with standard floss. Having a Waterpik is basically like having a dentist's cleaning tool right in your own bathroom, and it makes the act of flossing much less awkward. Standard flossing requires both hands and remarkable dexterity, but the Waterpik only requires one hand to operate and the same skills necessary to brush your teeth.

Using a Waterpik is remarkably easy and takes very little time compared to normal flossing. The basic steps are outlined below so you can be sure to get the maximum benefit from each use of your Waterpik.


Remove the reservoir from the top of the unit by lifting straight upward, then remove the lid and fill the reservoir with water from the tap. Lukewarm water should be employed so it is comfortable in the mouth. Once the reservoir is full, replace the lid and return the tank to the base. Be sure to press firmly down when reattaching the reservoir so it creates a full seal.


Choose a tip from the selection available to you. There are multiple tip styles that each perform a slightly different function, but they all work to clean your teeth and gums. Have braces and need orthodontic tips? Check out these Waterpik water flosser for braces reviews to help narrow down your choices. Once you've chosen the tip, press it firmly into the pick wand. The handle of the wand will accept the tip to the stopping point provided on the tip itself, so you know the tip is fully attached when the seal is flush.


23830653 - oral irrigator in a bathroom

If you have never used the unit before, turn the pressure dial all the way to the highest setting. Aim the tip into your bathroom sink and activate the unit. Once the water starts flowing out of the pick wand, turn the device off. This primes the unit and ensures the suction and propulsion mechanisms are functioning properly.


Return the pressure dial to the lowest setting. This will allow you to work your way up to the pressure setting of your choice.


Make sure you are leaning over your sink such that you can spit the water from the pick directly into the sink. Insert the tip in your mouth and activate the unit.


The pressure will start at the lowest setting until you increase it on your own, and it is important to keep your lips closed around the tip to prevent splashing. Don't create a seal with your lips, which would prevent the water from dripping out into the sink. Slowly move the tip across your gum line and in between each pair of teeth. You should be able to feel the water picking in those hard to reach areas. If the pressure isn't high enough, increase it slowly.


It's better to start with the teeth in the back and work your way forward. Keep the tip held still momentarily between the teeth, and slowly adjust the angle up and down to reach every nook and cranny in the space.


After you've finished cleaning your Waterpik, deactivate the unit and remove the tip from the wand with the tip eject button.

Helpful Tips

With the addition of the other available tips, you can create a fully comprehensive oral care regimen using only the Waterpik. The device can be used with toothbrush tips, orthodontic tips, high-pressure jet tips, tongue cleaning tips, and many others. The reservoir can hold more than enough water for a single use, so be sure to fill it entirely every time to prevent having to refill it more than necessary.

Add some mouth rinse to the reservoir for extra fresh breath. Be sure to read the guidelines with each model before doing so.

Some models of Waterpik allow the user to aim the tip with extra precision thanks to a rotating base in the wand, and some units have a pause button built into the wand to stop the flow of water in an instant.


If you have never used a water flosser of any sort, Waterpik would be a great way to start. The units are intuitive, aesthetic, and much more helpful than standard dental floss. Not only that, but the device is able to completely replace your entire oral hygiene system with the proper accessories.

Using one of these devices might seem daunting, but they are quite simple and much more enjoyable than flossing with stringy, waxy floss. Research has shown that flossing with a water flosser works up to 50 percent more effectively than standard flossing, so the choice is clear.

The Waterpik is even more useful for those experiencing other oral health conditions, like braces or dental implants. It can provide up to five times the amount of cleaning power over brushing alone for someone wearing braces, and it offers double the cleaning potential around implants. Choose a Waterpik for your oral care regimen and start seeing results immediately.

Aurora is the lead editor here at She is one of those people who actually likes going to the dentist. She loves to write about anything health related, but oral health is her most passionate topic. Her free time is spent partaking in family activities and experimenting in the kitchen.

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