How to Floss with a Water Flosser or Dental Floss

Using dental floss is important to your daily oral health routine. But you might hate flossing because it is awkward, difficult, or messy.

If you are looking for an effective alternative to manual or string floss, you can floss with water instead of string!

How to Floss with a Waterpik® Water Flosser

8 Simple Steps for Using a Water Flosser

Fill and place water flosser reservoir
  1. Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water and place it on the base, pressing down firmly to ensure full seating.
  2. Select the tip and press firmly into the handle.
  3. If this is the first use, set the pressure control dial to high. Point the tip into the sink and turn on until water flows. Turn unit off.
Lean over the sink
  1. Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure).
  2. Lean over the sink and place tip in mouth.
  3. Turn unit on. Close lips to prevent splashing, while allowing water to flow from mouth into sink.
Move the flosser tip along the gums
  1. Start with the back teeth and pause briefly between teeth, aiming the tip just above the gumline at a 90 degree angle.
  2. When finished, turn unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.
Depending on the Waterpik® Water Flosser model, you can use the in-handle pause or on/off switch to stop water flow if needed. You can also aim the tip using the rotating base. (These features are not available on all models.)

For more information:

How to Floss with Dental Floss

Clinical studies show that when used properly, dental floss can improve oral health. But overly vigorous or incorrect flossing can also result in gum tissue damage.

Follow these instructions from the American Dental Association for properly using dental floss.

How to floss with dental floss
  1. Use about 18 inches of dental floss wound around one of your middle fingers, with the rest wound around the opposite middle finger.
  2. Hold the dental floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between the teeth.
  3. Curve the dental floss against the side of the tooth in a 'C' shape
  4. Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth. Don't jerk or snap the floss.
  5. Repeat on adjacent and subsequent teeth.
  6. As you move from tooth to tooth unwind the clean floss with one finger and take up the used floss with the opposite finger.

The History of Dental Floss

From silk to nylon, to water: learn about the evolution of dental floss and its role in keeping your pearly whites strong and healthy.