While it is not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing, a water flosser (also known as a Waterpik) can effectively complement dental hygiene for some patients. Particularly, they can help patients with orthodontic braces remove food debris that cannot be reached with a toothbrush or conventional floss. They can also be ideal for individuals with arthritis or other mobility issues that make string floss difficult to manipulate.
Additionally, a dentist may recommend water irrigation for individuals with gum disease. Not only can the stream of water reach periodontal pockets created by early gum disease, but a dentist can also prescribe an antibacterial agent such as tetracycline or chlorhexidine. When the user adds this to the reservoir, the Waterpik can effectively combat infection and the progression of gum disease.