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Waterpik Cordless WP-360. Photo by William Myers, 2019.


Battle with the Waterpik — It nearly Won

A really worthwhile device, once we learned how to master it.


  • I finally bought one after much badgering by my dentist and dental hygienist. My teeth feel like they were cleaned by the hygienist yesterday even a month later. I don’t know how I ever got along without it, after I learned how to operate it!

The purchase

After much badgering by the dentist and dental hygienist, well they told me 6 times and showed us the sample display; we decided to give it a try.

The hygienist cleans with an industrial version of the thing. Also, it works around the roots better than dental floss and might prevent a root planing and scaling.

The Purchase
So, off the drugstore and Wal-Mart.

The dentist displayed only one. There were 6 models — 1 battery, 2 rechargeable, and three plugged into the wall with many kinds of tips!

We didn’t want to replace batteries, so the first one was out. We would use only one tank of water with the last three, but we didn’t want the tube connecting the tank a couple of feet away. Also, it wouldn’t travel well and mine would take up most of the countertop space in my bathroom.

We each bought the least sophisticated rechargeable, took them home and read the instructions.

The first attempt
It wasn’t the first day home. They had to be charged up for 24 hours.

The first learning experience: when they say to use warm water, don’t use cold! Imagine ice against the root of a tooth. It’s a painful experience! I filled the tank with warm water ever since.

The instructions said to use warm tap water, but I thought that distilled water would keep it from getting a water residue. Maybe, but we would use almost a gallon a day, which would be expensive and add a whole lot of plastic gallon jugs to the landfill.

The very brief instructions show how to do it. Easier said than done!

I sprayed water on the mirror, the wall, the sink and myself. I missed the floor somehow. And I was using the normal tip. There is a high-pressure tip, but I haven’t had the nerve to try it yet.

My wife said that she had a similar experience.

I finally got through the first day using only 4 tanks of water. The second day wasn’t much better.

The third day
I finally found a procedure to turn the thing on and off when I want to.

The electric toothbrush has one on/off button whereas the pik has an on and an off button (two buttons). I had to retrain my finger.

Now, I turn it on, then immediately move my finger to the off button. This is the first day that I didn’t hit the wall, but I still got the mirror.

I even managed to hit all of the teeth with the water, along with my cheek and tongue. Fortunately, the spray isn’t powerful enough to cut tissue.

The fifth day
Finally, I can get through the entire process without spraying the mirror and wall.

It’s time to concentrate on the aim.

The water is supposed to hit the tooth at the gum line and between the teeth — on both sides.

The tip is angled. That means turning the device to point in two opposing directions for the front and back of the tooth. The finger on the button works only in one direction. So, I had to train my thumb for the other direction. It took three days.

Meanwhile, I got the mirror again.

The ninth day
Finally, I am getting through the entire process!

I am using only two tanks of water, keeping me and the mirror dry, and hitting every tooth.

I have not yet had the nerve to try the hi-power tip, and neither has my wife.

The instructions say to use it once a day, so we both use it at night. It is the longest stretch without cleaning or even drinking water. I prefer that my teeth be as clean as possible during that time.

I have used it on special occasions when at home. It works far better than a toothpick.

We won’t know until the next dentist visit how well it is working.

However, I can tell, and my tongue can tell, that my teeth feel like they do after a dental cleaning.

It doesn’t completely replace the dental floss, but I am glad that we got it.

I would do it again.

PS: The grandkids came to visit. The girls came running out of my bathroom exclaiming how wonderful the foaming cherry blossom soap smelled!

The water pic and soap spend the night together in a platonic relationship.

William “Bill” Myers, Analyzes all, Programmer, retired. If you learn anything new, find enjoyment, have a new thought, then I’m successful. Photo: 1st article

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