Can I Use Waterpik Instead Of Flossing With Braces?

With braces on teeth, it’s necessary to floss teeth regularly to prevent tooth decay, gum diseases, or tooth staining. Now, you get a modern device like a water flosser to do the work. But, you may want to know, “Can I use a Waterpik instead of flossing with braces?”

Though Waterpik flossers don’t replace the regular flossing while wearing braces, you should need them to improve oral health with braces. When you wear braces, it gets a little bit difficult to use a regular flosser and you may not clean some surfaces with it. So, Waterpik can help remove plaque and food debris from hard-to-reach areas.

However, it doesn’t mean one of these flossers is better than another. Both of them have benefits and drawbacks on their own. So, what should you do?

Take a look at the comparison of both Waterpik and regular flosser, before getting a flosser.

Waterpik vs flossing with braces

Waterpik vs flossing for braces

Here are the pros, cons, and differences between Waterpik flosser and regular floss:


You can control the Waterpik nicely because it has a handle. But, regular floss doesn’t have a handle and you need more time to gain control over it.

You can also control the pressure of this powered interdental cleaner with help of pressure settings.

Safely for braces

Waterpik flosser is relatively safer for braces since the device doesn’t make any contact with the braces and their components.

On the other hand, a floss threader or toothpick requires making contact with the braces and teeth to clean them.

So, you may have broken braces or wires if you don’t follow the proper technique of manual flossing or if you become careless.

You might be thinking about which flossers have approval from a recognized dental association to use it with braces?

Both the dental water jet and regular flossers are approved by the American dental association. So, you can get one or both without any doubt. Just be sure if you are using it correctly.

User friendly

Waterpik flosser is relatively easy to use because it has a handle and a long nozzle. You only need to hold the handle and place the nozzle in the area where you want to clean with Waterpik.

The device does the rest of the work. On the other hand, while using regular floss. you have to use your hand and move ii to different directions to clean the surface. Everything is manual with it.

However, in the beginning, you may have a little problem using the water flosser as the water can spread around. But, you will learn it over time.

On the other hand, traditional flossing also needs the experience to clean the braces and teeth perfectly.

Faster cleaning

Traditional floss requires more time to clean braces and teeth as you have to go through all the surfaces manually. But, Waterpik can do the work faster.

So, if you skip the flossing routine because of the time it takes to clean teeth and braces, the oral irrigators surely is going to help you.

Mode of action

Manual floss like a toothpick or floss threader works a little bit differently than water floss.

While using regular floss, you have to use the surface of the floss and scrub the margin of the gums, in between teeth and braces with it.

On the other hand, a Waterpik flosser uses water and doesn’t touch the gums, teeth, or braces. That’s why there is less chance of getting hurt to the braces with it.

When you apply the Waterpik, the stream of water does the cleaning and eliminates the food debris and plaques.

Cleaning difficult-to-reach areas

Water flossers can get into the hard-to-reach surface of the braces and teeth while regular floss can’t.

It can also penetrate into the gumline and periodontal pocket nicely and make them clean.

Variation of cleaning parts of the device

Waterpik provides various kinds of tips and nozzles so that you can get access to any area of your teeth and braces. But, you don’t get this benefit from regular floss.


In terms of price, regular floss must be ahead of Waterpik. Traditional floss is much cheaper water floss is costly.

Moreover, there is an added cost to maintain it, because you have to replace the tips every 3 to 6 months.


Water flossers may not be available everywhere like regular floss. However, you can get it from online stores nowadays. So, you don’t need to worry about where to buy or how to buy the Waterpik flosser.

The requirement of a power source

Waterpik needs a power source to use it, whereas conventional floss doesn’t need anything like it. So you may face difficulty using water floss while traveling.

Carrying while traveling

You may have to face problems carrying a Waterpik because of its size. On the other hand, regular floss is so small that you don’t even realize what you are carrying with you.

However, you can get the portable version of the Waterpik to make the situation better.

Removal of plaque and food debris

One of the most common questions that come to your mind is, Can Waterpik remove plaque and food debris as effectively as regular floss?

The dental water jet can remove food particles and plaque from the teeth and braces, but it may not be as effective as regular floss sometimes.

Traditional floss can clean even smaller food particles and plaques from the teeth and braces.

As you apply pressure on the surface with conventional floss, you can scrub the plaque and food debris away effectively from the gum line and in between teeth.

On the other hand, water floss can easily dislodge the large food particles, but some sticky and small plaque and food debris may not be removed effectively.

However, since it can get in hard to reach the surface, it can work well in those places, especially with braces on teeth.

Waterpik can take away the food debris easily that gets stuck under the wires of the braces.

Cleaning between tightly fit or crowded teeth

People get braces when they have crowded teeth. It’s hard to clean teeth when they are in tight contact.

Moreover, with braces on teeth, it becomes more difficult. Regular floss works better than Waterpik in a crowding case as it can remove and scrub away particles in between those tightly fitted teeth.

Chance of gum inflammation and bleeding

Some people may have gum inflammation or bleeding after using string or regular floss after a long time or for the first time.

That doesn’t happen with water floss. Moreover, people who already have gum problems like swelling, bleeding, or inflammation may use this device without facing any discomfort.

However, we always recommend consulting with your orthodontist before using it if you have other dental conditions.

People having a dental prostheses and braces

Adults also get braces now to straighten teeth effectively. But, they may have a dental prosthesis like a crown or implant.

In those conditions, it becomes hard to clean teeth with regular floss. Water flossers can be very helpful for them.

Is a Waterpik better than flossing with braces?

Waterpik is better than regular flossers in terms of using methods, getting into hard-to-reach areas of braces, safety for braces, and more.

On the other hand, a regular flosser is better in terms of price, removing sticky and small plaques, and more.

Some studies found that braces wearers can get more benefits with Waterpik and reduce gum and dental problems than using traditional floss only.

However, it’s still a matter of debate. Some studies also contradict that.

Though water flossers can get into those difficult-to-reach surfaces of braces and remove large plaque and food particles, conventional flossers can eliminate the plaque and tartar more effectively in many cases.

What should you get: Waterpik or regular floss?

Now, you may still wonder, which flosser you should get with braces on your teeth.

You should get both a Waterpik flosser and a regular flosser with braces because while wearing braces on teeth you have to do everything to maintain oral hygiene.

This can reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth staining, or decay. Besides brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, you have to floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque completely from the gum line, in between teeth and braces.

But, braces make it hard to remove all particles perfectly. Some can be removed by regular floss while others can be removed by the oral irrigators effectively.

So, use both flossers alternately and can get maximum benefits during braces treatment. This helps you have a healthy mouth after the removal of braces.

So, if you have no problem with the price of Waterpik, get the device and start using it to get the best result.

Keep in mind that, once oral health gets worse, you have to spend more money and time than spending it now to maintain oral hygiene.