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Waterpik. I am a licensed crazy ass. You want this more than a toothbrush if you experience periods of unhygienic depression.
I swear that thing will change your life.
To answer one of your questions, they are easy to use, but I also use flossers to floss. My ortho gave me my waterpik when I started treatment and I love it, I use to blast food out of my brackets. Mine is similar to this one: [link]
You should not use whitening solutions during treatment, you'll end up with your teeth being a different color than under the brackets.
Don't know about the HSA reimbursement but I advise if you get the tabletop version, get the one with on/off switch, instant regret to the face when I turned it on. Been using it for a few days and really wish I had gotten one earlier, but don't forget manual flossing is still recommended. Avoid the Target/Walmart version and get the one on Amazon, it sometimes goes on sale for $40-50. My SO has the portable version and works rather well for her but it has a little bit less pressure.
Get a water pik.
Way easier than flossing and it feels good after brushing. Easy as hell to use and blasts all kinds of crap from in-between your teeth so I don't have to spend nearly as much time taking care of my teeth every day.
Here it is on Amazon. Got mine this Prime Day and I love it. Never was a big flosser to begin with as I found it hard to shove my hands in my mouth so this is awesome. It's neat seeing particles and what not fall into the sink as it runs!
Basically a water flosser is something that sprays a high-pressure jet of water at your teeth and the water works its way into your gums(like how you're supposed to do when you floss) and pulls anything that might be trapped out. Dentists for years were super resistant to them because they weren't very good but these days they actually recommend them as being just about as good as really flossing
This is the model i have -> [link]
I went a little overboard and got the best model I could. My dentist recommended me to use things with the ADA seal which oddly seem to be only waterpik brand flossers but...eh, they're at least scientifically verified!
Waterpik Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Oral Irrigator For Teeth – Aquarius Professional, WP-660 White [link]
It's a similar idea to a power washer. It uses water to clean between your teeth instead of floss.
My mom once found some pieces of a Waterpik my grandma had given to me in my closet (I didn't use it), and yelled from my room, verbatim "What kind of drug paraphernalia is this?!" It took me ten minutes to convince her that they weren't for drugs. She was even there when my grandma gave it to me.
Something like this that uses a strong little jet of water that cleans your teeth like flossing
Product Link (Gift ideas catalog - Android app - Shopping Saga)
Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius, White [link]
GUM Angled Flossers Fresh Mint 75 Each (Pack of 3) [link]
GUM - 760RB Dual Action Tongue Cleaner Brush and Scraper (Colors May Vary) [link]
WhiteFoam On-the-Go Clear Retainer Cleaner for Invisalign, Dentures, ClearCorrect, Essix, Vivera & Hawley Trays/Aligners. Cleans, Kills Bacteria, Whitens Teeth & Fights Bad Breath (50ml - 1 Pack) [link]
StellaLife VEGA Oral Rinse: Dry Mouth Mouthwash, Natural Daily Dental Hygiene for Healthy Gums, Fresh Breath, Mint Taste, Sugar Free, Propolis, Xylitol, Advanced Healing After Dental Procedures [link]
Deal link: Amazon (additional 15% off coupon on app)
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The Wirecutter's top pick is the WaterPik Aquarius. Amazon sells it for $70.
This is the one I bought. Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius,White [link]
I have braces and I will have them for 3 years, while they hurt when they get tightened or put on, after about 10 days your teeth will feel fine. I will however suggest getting a watter flosser. It helped clean my teeth tenfold and it feels amazing. if you are interested, here is one:
I got this one because both me and my sis have braces and we need the extra tips. If you want a smaller one, here is one:
hope these help!
Today at checkout was $29.00
Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser Electric Dental
Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius,White [link]
On sale today Prime Day at checkout $29.
Waterpik WP-660 Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Professional Oral Irrigator For Teeth, Aquarius,White [link]
Amazon Link for WaterPik
I just got mine on mid-May prior to jaw surgery, and this definitely holds up. My orthodontist had a fancy contraption to hold my mouth open while they applied all the brackets that they didn't have the first two times I had braces. That definitely made the whole process much easier on my jaw.
I'd also add that during the first few weeks, those couple brackets you'll have on will chew up your gums a bit. Rinsing liberally with salt water (I make up a bottle that I keep handy) will help heal them faster. Put a bit of wax on the bracket right away. Once the spot is healed, stop using the wax so your gums can form a bit of a callous.
I would also just avoid the foods they tell you to avoid all together. You probably won't have the brackets on very long and it's just not worth it to lose a bracket over. I was informed at my last appointment that I'd lost one, and I'm on a liquid diet! It takes soooo long for them to put it back on that they just decided to wait until next time to put a new bracket on.
Watepiks are great for braces (the model I have comes with a tip for braces and has been on sale for under $50 frequently lately). Otherwise, you should use a threader to floss.
There are now way more options for brackets than there were years ago. There are traditional metal and ceramic braces that need rubber bands to ligate. But now there are also Damon brackets (which come in metal and clear versions) that self ligate. So no need for rubber bands or tightening (you still get wire changes), and your teeth move faster. The brackets themselves are also slightly smaller. They are so much better than the tradition brackets I had when I was younger. I've only had them for a few weeks and I can't believe how much teeth movement I've already had.
Get a water flosser and you'll never have this problem. [link]
NAD, but I work in the industry. I use and love this waterpik (waterpik I had some 4s and 5s and this has been a huge help. You have gingivitis, which just means the gums are responding to excess bacteria with inflammation. Gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, but with your care it’s unlikely.