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I’ve seen a lot of comments on various message boards recommending the use of a Waterpik for removing tonsil stones, but before you run out and purchase one specifically for tonsil stones I have some caveats that might make you consider using something else instead.
If you already have a Waterpik and want to know the best way to use it for removing tonsil stones, then this article is going to cover what you should know.
Do water picks help with tonsil stones? Water flossers in general flush out the crypts and dislodge tonsil stones you can’t see. But the Waterpik might not be the best choice due to pain and bleeding, even on the lowest setting. Here are a few tips on how to use the Waterpik for tonsil stones.
- Even at the lowest strength setting you can still cause bleeding and damage to your tonsils which will cause them to get irritated or inflamed.
- When your tonsils are inflamed, they’re much more susceptible to catching food particles and debris within the crypts, which eventually turn into putrid smelling throat pearls.
- DIY modifications can be made to increase the size of the hole on the tips to reduce the pressure.
- A better alternative would be to use a cordless low-pressure water flosser.
How To Remove Tonsil Stones With The Waterpik
My story with how I started using the Waterpik for flushing out tonsil stones started a few years ago while I was using the lighted pick to scrape out the inside of my tonsils.
As great as the pick was for getting out the little stink balls, I kept seeing really small tonsil stones pop up every other day or so, and I thought maybe the pick isn’t getting inside the crypts all the way.
As I was using my Waterpik for routine flossing, I suddenly got the idea that maybe I can flush out my tonsils too.
The theory was that the stream of water flow would force out any hidden tonsil stones, like giving my tonsils a shower (but with a firehose).
And it worked great! But things sort of got complicated a little quickly.
So, if you’re going to use a Waterpik to remove tonsil stones, I’ve got a few tips that will hopefully make your experience better:
Your Waterpik May Cause Your Tonsils To Bleed
I know it’s tempting to blast away at your tonsils like you’re using a firehose to strip mine for stones (gross), but you don’t want to start off too aggressively.
Make sure that the Waterpik is on the lowest setting!
One of the things I’ve learned the hard way is that you can cause some serious damage if you put this thing too close to the soft tissue at the back of your throat.
To make matters worse, the lowest setting on the Waterpik is still 3-4 times too much for using on the soft tissue of your tonsils, so don’t be surprised if it feels like you’re giving yourself a tonsillectomy.
Use A Tip That Reduces PSI
Definitely make sure you’re using the right tip!
In the version of the Waterpik that I have, it came with multiple heads and the one that I find works the best for tonsil stones is the one with the rubber tip.
It seems to further reduce the strength of the water flow and the tip itself makes it easy for getting inside the crypts.
Other versions come with toothbrush-like bristles that will work great too.
If that still doesn’t work for you then I recommend drilling a bigger hole in one of the tips so that the flow of water isn’t as intense, and one of my viewers suggested purchasing a “nose” tip that has a very big hole.
Secure The Reservoir In Place
One of the things you’ll discover quickly is how short the cord is.
This makes it very difficult for reaching the wand into the back of your mouth while looking in the mirror, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve knocked the reservoir over.
Water was everywhere!
This has really made using the Waterpik for removing tonsil stones really irritating. I’ve tried placing something heavy on the lid to stop it from tipping over so easily, but it didn’t work.
You are going to either need to put it on a higher shelf or use one hand to secure it in place, neither are very practical.
Which makes this next tip important.
Use The Wand With An On/Off Switch
Not all Waterpiks are alike.
I thought I got a good deal by getting a set from Costco that came with a little travel unit but it had the same problems as the larger one – with an additional issue.
There was no On/Off switch on the wand.
So now you will need a THIRD hand:
- One for holding the wand.
- One for holding the reservoir.
- And one for switching it on and off at the base.
Elbows kind of work, but now we’re getting crazy with the gymnastics.
When you’re using a water flosser for removing tonsil stones, it’s important to control the flow of water and only turn it on when you’re in the right places. This helps to not get water in places you don’t want, like in your face or on the mirror, and for controlling how much water builds up in your mouth before you spit it out.
Kill Anaerobic Bacteria With An Oxygenating Mouthwash
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If you’re not already doing so, I highly recommend using a mixture of water with an oxygenating mouthwash, like from Therabreath.
Using an oxygenating mouthwash on your tonsils and the rest of your mouth will help keep everything fresh by fighting off the anaerobic bacteria that develop within the crypts of your tonsils.
You can also dilute some food-grade hydrogen peroxide which has been known to dissolve tonsil stones as well.
Simply use a 50/50 mixture of water and the solution for really great results.
Alternative Water Flosser For Removing Tonsil Stones
Because of the issues listed above, I recommend using a totally different water flosser for tonsil stone removal. There are a lot of options that will make your life so much easier, and I’ve created a post on the best tonsil stone removal tools that I use that you should check out.
In my opinion, using a cordless water flosser is the best option but you shouldn’t get just anything. A critical detail is that the pressure should be low enough to not cause significant pain and bleeding, and most units start at between 30-40 PSI.
So if you’re going to get a water flosser, then I recommend this one by Cremax (Amazon) because it can be used for both tonsil stone removal AND regular flossing. The PSI starts at 10 on the lowest setting (with the bristle tip) and goes up to 115 PSI.
I realize that I might be one of the only people on the internet that advises against using the Waterpik for removing tonsil stones, but that’s only because I want to share some better alternatives.
The Waterpik CAN work just fine if you are okay with getting around the issues explained above.
I also believe that using a water flosser is one of the best ways you can keep yourself free of tonsil stones without having to change your diet or get a tonsillectomy, and it only takes a few seconds every morning to use.
Never want to see another tonsil stone again? In this video, I’ll show you how I get rid of tonsil stones within minutes and the tools I use.