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water flosser kids-Dental Touch Associates Cedar Rapids-Marion, IA

What’s a Water Flosser and Why Will My Kids Actually Use It?

added on: September 14, 2016

No matter what, dentists know when a patient hasn’t been flossing regularly. Without proper care, bacteria collects along the gum line, hardens into tartar and causes gum disease. Luckily, gum disease is preventable, and these days there’s another weapon in the fight for healthy gums. A water flosser shoots a targeted stream of water to remove plaque and debris that brushing leaves behind. Essentially, it does what traditional floss does, except way cooler.

Dentists can tell when a patient hasn’t been flossing regularly because flossing is such an important part of good dental hygiene – and because they’re super smart. If you’re tired of hearing excuses from your kids and seeing bloody gums, a water flosser could be a lifesaver.

How Do You Use a Water Flosser?

For as futuristic as water flossers look, they’re actually super easy to use:

  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water
  2. Attach the tip of your choosing and set the pressure to your liking
  3. Point the tip between your teeth and along the gum line at a 90-degree angle, pausing between teeth for a few seconds
  4. Clean both the cheek side and the tongue side of your teeth
  5. Done!

Water Flossers Are Great for Braces

It’s Iowa sweet corn season, so that means it’s also the season to see kernels stuck in braces after dinner. Even if you do the unthinkable and cut the corn off the cob, food is still going to get stuck and, since braces make it difficult to remove trapped food, plaque, gingivitis and gum disease can develop.

When your kids “forget” about what they can and can’t eat with their braces, a water flosser is a wonderful way to remove the evidence. It’s easy to maneuver the water flosser to clean around each bracket and the specialized tips and customizable pressure setting ensure that leftover food gets flushed out.

The specialized tips are also great for kids with sensitive teeth and the higher pressure settings can help remove more extreme cases of plaque. There are even water flossers designed specifically for younger kids so that they can get in the habit of flossing before they would otherwise be able to floss on their own.

What If My Kids Already Floss?

Quit reading this blog post and go thank your sweet little angels for being more responsible than the 60% of Americans who don’t floss every day!

It’s also important to remember that traditional floss and water flossers are only part of preventing gum disease. The most effective combination includes brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and making regular trips to the dentist. Those trips to the dentist should start as soon as a child’s first tooth appears.

It’s all about establishing healthy habits that kids can carry throughout life.


Water flossers are a great alternative for kids and adults who won’t use traditional floss because water flossers are simply easier to use. Improper flossing technique is a common mistake among people of all ages. As long as your kids know the water flosser isn’t a drinking fountain, it will do most of the work for them. Plus, water flossers look like something out of Star Wars, so that has to count for something.

If you’re looking for water flosser recommendations or in need of a dentist, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.