Mouthwash & Your Waterpik® Water Flosser

By Waterpik® Product Support
June 12, 2015


Although all you need in your Water Flosser for clinically proven effectiveness is warm water, you might wonder whether it is safe to use mouthwash or other additives. Can they damage the unit? What's not okay to use?

Find the answers to these questions and learn what you can add to your Water Flossing routine.

Safe for Waterpik® Water Flossers

Standard Mouthwash

Standard or cosmetic mouthwash neutralizes odors and freshens your breath.

To use standard mouthwash:

  1. Add a small amount of mouthwash to a reservoir filled with warm water. (To prevent damage to the unit, do not exceed a 1:1 ratio of mouthwash to water).
  2. Water floss as described in the product instructions
  3. Rinse the unit by partially filling the reservoir with plain warm water and running it with the tip pointed into the sink.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwashes such as Listerine® contain alcohol and agents that prevent growth of microorganisms in the mouth. They are formulated to help prevent gingivitis and gum disease.

To use antiseptic mouthwash:

  1. To prevent damage to the unit, add no more than a 1:1 ratio of antiseptic mouthwash to warm water to the reservoir.
  2. Water floss as described in the product instructions
  3. Rinse the unit by partially filling the reservoir with plain warm water and running it with the tip pointed into the sink.

Water Flosser Additives

YES - Safe to Use

Standard mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash

Antimicrobial solution

NO - Do Not Use

Essential oils

Bleach or bleach dilution

Salt, iodine, or baking soda

Therapeutic Mouth Rinse

Dental professionals prescribe therapeutic mouth rinses to help treat gum disease. These prescription-only solutions typically contain the antimicrobial drug chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and include brands such as PeridexTM and Periogard.®

If you have gum disease with periodontal pockets, your dental professional may recommend cleaning them using a Classic Professional Water Flosser and the Pik Pocket™ tip. The Classic Professional Water Flosser includes a specialty reservoir designed for low-pressure delivery of antimicrobial rinses.

To use therapeutic mouth rinses:

  1. Follow your dental professional’s instructions for adding water or the proper solution to the Water Flosser reservoir.
  2. To clean periodontal pockets using the Pik Pocket™ tip:
    • Set the Water Flosser to the lowest pressure
    • Place the soft tip against the tooth at a 45-degree angle
    • Gently place the tip under the gumline, into the pocket
    • Turn the unit on and trace along the gumline
  3. Rinse the Water Flosser by partially filling the reservoir with plain warm water and running it with the tip pointed into the sink.

Caution: Not for Use With Waterpik® Water Flossers

Adding any of these items to your Water Flosser can reduce performance or shorten the life of the product.

  • Bleach or bleach dilution
  • Pure essential oils (such as tea tree oil)
  • Baking soda
  • Iodine
  • Salt

Enhance Your Water Flossing

Adding mouthwash to freshen breath and using solutions that prevent and treat gum disease give you more ways to benefit from using your Water Flosser.

When it comes to your oral health, you should always consult your dental professional for guidance. Using a standard mouthwash or antiseptic at a 1:1 ratio or less with water provides a pleasant experience, but it is not clinically evaluated to determine any benefits beyond using water alone.

There are studies for adding chlorhexidine to a Water Flosser, and your dental professional will provide instructions for prescription use.

If you have other product questions, check out our Product Support, videos, and Product Manuals.