Waterpik produces some of the best water flossers on the market. They have been appreciated by millions and they are highly rated. But, how to use a Waterpik professionally, keeping your oral health on the highest level. Here, we will guide you through the process. Although flossing your teeth with a water flosser is easy, there are a lot of things you should be aware of before starting the actual procedure. Obviously, they will be further explained below.

Choosing The Right Waterpik

“How to use Waterpik” starts with choosing the right model. As you already know, there are so many, different versions on the market. Not all of them are ideal for you! Some of them are made for children, but they are usually smaller and they come with interesting decorations, appealing for children. But, the main difference is in the size of the tip and the pressure. They are gentler and they are optimized for cleaning teeth of children. Obviously, they are not designed for adults. Always check for the recommended age at the bottom of a package. Some models are developed for children age 6 or under.

Other types come with high pressure, so they are not ideal for those with sensitive teeth. In general, the best Waterpik is the one that meets your own demands. It must provide well-balanced pressure, it should be compatible with most tips and it should be designed for house use or for traveling, depending on what you actually need.

Only when you have chosen the best, or better said the most suitable Waterpik water flosser for you, you are able to move to the next part, where we will guide you through more specific processes.

If you ever have any trouble with your Waterpik water flosser, refer to our How to repair a Waterpik guide.

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Which Areas of the Teeth Should Be Treated and Why?

Using a Waterpik isn’t a science, but it does require a few guidelines and a few directions. The most important of them all is the basic knowledge where and why you should direct the pressure of the water flosser. Let’s start from the beginning.

Obviously, the teeth, in general, should be treated with a water flosser. It will remove the stains and the debris which wouldn’t normally go away. It also removes the bacteria from the enamel or the first layer of the teeth. Just to keep things simple, this is the first and the main part of water flossing. It is well-known, but it had to be mentioned. Try not to skip teeth and try to keep the same amount of time focused on each one. It is a smart decision to look for a Waterpik model which comes with interval feature, alerting you when you should move to the next quadrant.

Usually, beginners make this mistake. They use water flossers to clean their teeth and tongue. After that, they believe they are done and their teeth are perfectly clean. Actually, this is a mistake, nothing more. The main part of the teeth which must be cleaned at all cost is the area between the teeth. This is the place where bacteria, germs, and debris live and they will be mostly accumulated there, more than on the teeth themselves. As you may know, the main purpose of a water flosser is to replace conventional flossers. Water flossers are usually 3-4 times more effective than traditional ones, and they require less time.

The tongue should be treated as well, although, you will need a separate tip, which isn’t included in the package. Yes, you can use the standard tip, but it is less effective than the special tongue scraper tip!

How To Use a Waterpik Without Making a Mess?

Now, we have come to the part where we will guide you through the process of teeth flossing itself. Keep in mind that all steps are equally important and try not to skip one.

  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water

Yes, you can use cold water, but it isn’t recommended for sensitive teeth! Warm water also better removes bacteria and plaque, therefore we would recommend it as the best choice. Always fill the reservoir to the max, or you will have to refill it in the middle of the process.

  1. Select the pressure level

Start with level 8. It is the most commonly chosen, but don’t be forced to use it. Find a level you are comfortable using and your teeth are as well.

  1. Place the palm on the PAUSE button

During the process, your thumb should be kept on the pause button. You should keep your lips closed or partially closed, in order to prevent water from escaping from the mouth. We can advise you to keep the mouth closed, make a pause and spit the water. Then, continue with teeth flossing.

  1. Clean the teeth in general

During this step, you will have to clean the entire teeth. This applies to the both sides and the areas between teeth. Make sure you clean all of them equally and don’t skip a tooth or two. Also, pay a special attention to the area between teeth.

  1. Clean the gumline

After you have flossed the teeth, hit the pause button and move to the gumline. Always keep the water flosser at 90-degree angle. It provides the best results and it is the most efficient. Important: Gumline should be flossed as a separate quadrant!

After you are done, always remove the water from reservoir. Yes, almost all models are optimized to use the entire reservoir per a single flossing, but if something still remains, remove it.

Important Facts To Consider If You Wear Braces

Best For Fixed Braces

How to use Waterpik with braces? In general, the procedure is similar, almost identical, but there are a few main differences. The first one is the Waterpik tip. The classic jet tip is sufficient, but not ideal. We recommend you to use the Orthodontic tip. It is two times more effective, meaning that it reduces the time needed to clean the teeth and a brace and it is specifically optimized for braces.

The second main difference is in the wires you can obviously see. They are like a natural habitat for bacteria and plaque. All you can do is to carefully remove both issues with a water flosser. To do so, move the water flosser slowly over the wiring of a brace. Make sure you also reach all the back and inward elements. We advise you to keep things slow and to pay attention to the rear parts of a brace the most.

Once you are done, inspect the brace for areas which look dirty or with a plaque. If needed, repeat the procedure over those areas only.

Now, you can see the small, metal pieces that press your teeth inward the mouth. They are extremely important to clean! Plaque, bacteria, and germs can stay there and cause severe issues. The only thing to do is to increase the pressure on the Waterpik water flosser to the max and direct the water flow towards them. Circle around each one until all of them are perfectly clean. Here you will be able to see the full advantage of the Orthodontic tip. A classic jet tip is slower, meaning that you will require more time.

Using Additional Waterpik Tips

We explained how to use Waterpik without getting soaked and how to use two, most common tips. But, Waterpik also offers a few tips that are used as an addition. In general, you can use them to ensure even better oral hygiene. Keep in mind that they shouldn’t be used separately, without the standard jet tip! Anyway, we have:

  • Tongue cleaner – It is superb for cleaning the tongue, obviously, and removing the plaque from it. Use it slowly and try to reach all the corners of the tongue. In addition, use it after you have completed the procedure with standard jet tip.
  • Toothbrush tip – In essence, this is a mini-toothbrush. It isn’t necessary to use, but we liked it. You will be able to brush the teeth while flossing them at the same time. If you like eating candies, and you probably do, this tip is more than just ideal for you. Using it is the same as using a conventional toothbrush.

Both of these tips are recommended as additional tips for your Waterpik water flosser. They can maximize the effect on flossing and they will make a difference. Ideally, you would use Classic Jet tip paired with these two tips. Obviously, you should use the classic, standard tip the first and then make flossing even better with using these two.

Which Waterpik tip to use? In a case you have a brace, periodontal pockets or dental work done, use corresponding tips. Using is the same as the ones we explained above. Then, you can use one or two of these, additional tips.

Related Products

To read more about Waterpik tips go to our Waterpik Replacement Tips article. If you have braces, you may be interested to know more about Best Waterpik for Braces.


Now you know how to use a Waterpik properly and without making any mistakes. As we have mentioned, the entire procedure is simple, but much easier if you know these guidelines. Perhaps they look obvious, but they are essential. With them, your teeth will be healthier, your tongue cleaner and your breath much better. Compared to other alternatives, Waterpik water flossers are superb, in the lack of a better word.