Can a Waterpik cause damage to your gums and cause them to bleed? Find out how a Waterpik water flosser works and if it is gentle enough on your gums to use on a regular basis.

What Is A Waterpik?

A Waterpik is a brand of water flosser or an oral irrigator that sprays a stream of water between your teeth.

You will be surprised to learn that a water flosser not a new product in the dental industry. It was invented in 1962 by a Colorado dentist!

This article will cover all the things you need to know about Waterpik as a flosser.

Bear in mind that a water flosser does not replace your toothbrush or traditional flossing. You still have to brush your teeth twice a day, but use the water flosser either before or after brushing.

Can A Waterpik Cause Damage

Can A Waterpik Cause Damage To Your Gums?

The answer is NO.

Research has proved that a Waterpik can lessen the bleeding people suffer as they floss. This is especially possible when you use the water irrigator in the way the manufacturer recommends you do.

Can Waterpik Damage Gums

However, you need to select a low-pressure setting and use warm water.

People who do not floss regularly may experience some discomfort when they first start to use it.

That discomfort may last for about a fortnight. When the gums become accustomed to the water flosser it will dissipate.

If they are any signs of:

  • bleeding
  • swelling
  • prolonged discomfort
  • pain
  • reddening of the gums

bring them to your dentist’s attention.

Can Waterpik Make Your Gums Bleed?

Using a water flosser should not make your gums bleed at all.

If your gums are healthy with no sores, this teeth cleaning method will not cause any bleeding at all. 

The stream of water is not strong enough to break the skin of the gums.

String Flossing vs Water Flossing

String flossing can be a frustrating process that can result in one damaging the gums in the process.

It can also be awkward trying to get the string to extract the offending “dirt”, having to maneuvre the string to get the right angle between the culprit teeth.

Using a jet of water is a much better way to floss without hurting your gums.

A water flosser may be a good option for those who have trouble mastering traditional flossing.

It is effective in removing plaque in individuals with conditions such as:

  • gingivitis
  • periodontitis
  • receding gums

How Does A Water Flosser Work?

A water flosser removes food stuck between teeth and braces and the resulting bacteria before it hardens into plaque.

A toothbrush cannot get into all the small spaces where plaque accumulates. However, a water flosser can penetrate these areas quite easily.

Flossing is important as it can reduce gum disease so it is a good habit to get into, whichever method you use.

How To Use A Waterpik

These steps will help you make the most of using your water flosser.

How To Use A Waterpik

The steps include:

  1. Place the tip into the holder. Place warm water into the water reservoir and position it back in the base.
  2. Plug in the device and adjust the pressure control. It is better to start with low pressure and adjust it higher if necessary.
  3. Lean over the basin or bath placing the tip into the mouth with lips closed. Turn the unit on.
  4. Start with the back teeth, aiming the tip at just above the gum line, and work toward the middle of the mouth.
  5. Stop for a second or two with the tip between each tooth. Allow the water to flow out of the mouth into the basin.
  6. Turn off the device, and clean the machine following the manufacturers’ instructions

Once you have used it once or twice and got used to the waterstream and how to position the tip, you will enjoy the water flossing experience.

When Should You Use a Water Flosser?

You should use a water flosser whenever you need to clean your teeth, clean around braces or other orthodontic fictures you may have.

This then begs the question as to how many times should you use a water flosser.

The answer is usually after every main meal. So at least twice a day or 3 times a day if possible.

And how long should you use a water flosser for best results?

The consensus of opinion as not less than a minute. You should be able to get any debris out within that time, especially if you use the flosser regularly.

Who Can Use A Waterpik?

  • Individuals who find it difficult to use dental floss can use a water flosser.
  • Individuals who have braces or dental work like permanent or fixed bridges. A water flosser is the best option for this case.
  • Removal of plaque assists those who have a receding gum line
  • People with periodontal disease or who have extremely dry mouths.
  • If you have arthritis or other problems using your hands, a water flosser is your best option
  • Kids or teens that have braces often find a water flosser is easier than using traditional floss.

If you are not sure about water flossing, inquire with your dentist about the switch from traditional floss.

He will describe the pros and cons. A professional will help you to make a good decision.

Is Water Flossing As Good As Dental Flossing?

Yes, water flossing is as good and even better than traditional dental flossing.

Water flossing, as with traditional flossing can be used by everyone including:

  • people who wear braces
  • individuals with dental problems
  • people with arthritis
  • individuals with periodontal diseases
  • children

Water Flosser Benefits And Pitfalls

As you will see below, the water flosser benefits way outweigh the cons.


Water flossing is easy to use.

With traditional flossing, if you don’t know how to floss correctly, you will damage your gums. This may cause more dental problems.

Using this device is very helpful in getting into the hard-to-reach places in your mouth. These include tightly spaced teeth and periodontal pockets that may cause early gum disease.

Waer flossing contains no risk as compared to traditional floss. Dental floss can increase gum sensitivity and cause damage to the gums if used incorrectly.

A water flosser can also help to keep breath fresher, longer, which is an added plus.


The Waterpik is expensive and needs storage areas. 

Whereas traditional floss is convenient and takes up no space.

Top Tip

The traditional string floss and water flosser can be used together to achieve better results.

Some people like to use string floss first, to first loosen and scrape off plaque. Then the flosser can be used to efficiently rinse out residue and plaque left behind.

It is not recommended to entirely replace water flossing with the traditional method.

Water flossers do a great job of removing unwanted food particles and removing plaque by shooting a stream of water between the teeth. 

However, the water jet cannot duplicate the scraping motion that string floss creates to remove tartar-causing plaque. This can eventually cause cavities to develop and gum disease.

Therefore regular use of both methods will achieve excellent mouth hygiene.

Finishing off with your favorite mouthwash to cleanse and disinfect is added protection.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide In My Waterpik?

The use of hydrogen peroxide can be helpful for individuals with gingivitis.

Hydrogen peroxide rinses the gums with a solution that kills the bacteria responsible for the condition.

A dilution of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide can help keep your gums healthy and infection-free.

However, discontinue use if the diluted solution causes painful or irritated gums.

Can Waterpik Replace Brushing?

No, it cannot replace brushing. It only works as an aid to remove plaque.

A water pick can help remove food particles from your teeth and help reduce bleeding and gum disease. But it is not considered a substitute for brushing.

A good toothbrush, whether it is a normal toothbrush or an electric style toothbrush, is the first step to clean, healthy teeth.

Can Waterpik Remove Hard Plaque?

Yes, it can remove hard plaque.

A Waterpik water flosser is:

  1. 51% more effective than flossing for reducing gingivitis
  2. Twice as effective at reducing bleeding of the gums
  3. 29% more effective at removing plaque

Can A Waterpik Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

There is no reason why any water flosser should cause tooth sensitivity.

If you do not use warm water and use cold water instead – you may feel discomfort if your teeth are already pre-disposed to sensitivity to cold.

The other reason you may feel sensitivity is if you have a pre-existing cavity that reacts to the water hitting it.

But the stream of water does not in any way affect your teeth directly – except get them cleaned.

Can Waterpik Damage Receding Gums?

Can a Waterpik cause damage to receding gums and make them worse?

Clinical research shows that the water flosser is nearly 50% more effective for reversing gingivitis and improving gum health than the traditional string floss.

So you can safely use your water flosser daily.

Can Waterpik Cause Infection?

No – Waterpik, or any other brand of water flosser, does not cause an infection on your gums or teeth.

The job of an oral irrigator is simply to clean.

By having a clean mouth, the risk of infection is virtually eliminated completely.

Can A Waterpik Damage Your Gums – Conclusion

A Waterpik irrigation flosser is effective in removing plaque and debris from your teeth and mouth.

But can a waterpik cause damage to your teeth and gums?

Not at all.

In fact they reduce gum problems and tooth decay.

Waterpik is an inclusive flossing method that can be used by people with braces, gingivitis, arthritis. It is also a good option for kids.

It is easy to use, unlike traditional floss. However, it is expensive compared to string dental floss.

One should not replace the toothbrush and dental floss by using a water flosser.

Rather, one should use the 3 tools together to produce good results.

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