Household Hygiene: Should Each Family Member Have Their Own Water Flosser?
Water flossers, or oral irrigators, are a common choice instead of string floss. They use water to clean plaque and food from between teeth and below the gumline. Many people wonder if water flossers can be shared between multiple users in a household.
The answer is yes; water flossers can be safely shared if proper hygiene steps are followed. It's usually best for everyone in the family to have their water flosser. This helps keep things clean.
Here's an overview of using and sharing water flossers safely:
Benefits of Water Flossing
Before discussing sharing tips, let's review the key benefits of water flossing:
- The water pressure removes almost all plaque. It goes between teeth and under the gums to stop plaque buildup. This helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
- The water pulsations gently massage and stimulate the gums, improving blood circulation. This helps strengthen gums.
- Freshens breath: Water flossing flushes out food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Easier to use: Water flossers are gentle, quick, and ideal for those with dexterity issues.
Is It Hygienic to Share?
When sharing a water flosser, the main concern is the spread of bacteria and viruses. This could increase the risk of catching colds, strep throat, or even COVID-19 if someone is sick.
However, with proper disinfection between uses, the risk is low. According to most manufacturers, water flossers can be safely shared if you follow the hygiene guidelines.
Tips for Sharing a Water Flosser
Follow these tips for safely sharing a water flosser:
- Replace nozzle tips: Each person should have their own nozzle tip that is replaced every 3-6 months. Avoid sharing nozzle tips.
- Clean reservoir: Empty the water reservoir and rinse it out after each use. Refill with clean water before the next use.
- Disinfect surfaces: Wipe down the handle and other exterior surfaces with a disinfectant spray or wipe.
- Don't share if sick: If anyone is ill, they shouldn't share the device until they're better.
- Rinse before/after use: Rinse your mouth before and after water flossing to wash away bacteria.
- To keep the base unit clean, you can disinfect it by filling the reservoir with diluted mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide. Then, run the device briefly.
Buying Multiple Units
To keep things clean, it's best if each person in the family has their own water flosser. This prevents any risk of cross-contamination.
Here are some tips for buying multiple units:
- Choose a model that offers replaceable nozzle tips. This allows each user to have their own tip.
- Look for a unit with multiple cleaning modes, like a pulse cleansing mode to optimize cleaning between uses.
- Buy a model with multiple user memory settings to save personalized water pressure and timings.
- Consider a compact mini model that takes up less space. This allows multiple units to fit in one bathroom.
- Buy replacement tips in bulk to have spare tips on hand for each user.
- Take advantage of sales and deals when purchasing multiple units. This can help reduce the overall cost.
One Unit Per Household?
Having just one water flosser may seem cheaper, but the risks to hygiene are greater.
Issues with sharing just one water flosser include:
- Inconvenience of repeatedly cleaning and refilling the unit
- Remembering to swap out nozzle tips
- Possible exposure to illnesses
- Fighting over whose turn it is
To be safe, each person in a household should have their own water flosser. But sharing can work if proper precautions are followed diligently.
- Water flossers can be safely shared with the right hygiene habits. However, it's best for each person to have their own device.
- Always use a separate nozzle tip and thoroughly clean the device between uses.
- Replace nozzle tips regularly.
- Disinfect surfaces and rinse out the reservoir after each use.
- Don't share the device if anyone has an illness.
- To make things easier and cleaner, get everyone in the family their compact water flosser.
When you follow the right steps to use and clean it, sharing a water flosser can be safe. But the most hygienic option is for each family member to have their device. Ask your dentist how to use and care for water flossers correctly. Water flossing can significantly improve your oral health. You can choose to share a device or use individual units. It all depends on your habits.