Water flossing products like Waterpik are growing in popularity. But is water flossing really more effective than traditional flossing? To help you decide which option is best for you and your family’s dental hygiene routine, here are a few pros and cons of each.
Many of us are familiar with this essential hygiene practice. You may floss at night or throughout the day to help remove food particles that end up stuck in-between your teeth. Though many people do use floss, not everyone flosses correctly. In fact, you could be losing out on its full benefits (i.e., removing up to 40% of plague on your tooth’s surface).
Flossing involves the use of dental floss (which looks like string) that you wrap around your index and middle fingers to make a straight line. While holding the floss tightly around each tooth, forming a C-shape, you gently move the floss “back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth” (Colgate).
Sounds easily enough! However, not everyone likes this option, as it can be difficult to reach your upper and lower molars and it may hurt your fingers if you’re squeezing the floss too tightly. If you’re flossing too hard or you have gum sensitivity, floss may also cause your gums to start bleeding. With all this in mind, it’s understanding why some patients might consider this option less pleasant.
Unlike traditional floss, water flossing uses a machine, not string, to help you remove food particles that are stuck in-between your teeth: “Rather than scraping the teeth to remove plaque, water flossing uses the pressure of the water to massage the gums and push the food away from the teeth” (Medical News Today).
If anyone in your family wears braces, water flossing may be particularly useful, as it allows you to easily clean your teeth and gums in harder to reach areas. There’s also less of a learning curve to water flossing than traditional flossing, since most of the work is performed by the machine.
The only downside of water flossing is the cost to purchase a Waterpik. In addition, in order to operate the machine, you’ll need access to electricity, so if you’re an avid camper during the summer months, this might not be the best option.
Which is Better: Water Flossing or Traditional Flossing?
The answer to this question really depends on your personal preference and individual situation. What we mean is if you’d rather skip the dental floss routine because you find it painful, tedious, or uncomfortable, than you might consider switching to water flossing!
However, if you’re comfortable with using regular floss and are flossing correctly, then there’s no reason for you to purchase an expensive machine when you’re already getting the full benefits of flossing on your own.
The important thing to remember is that whether you’re flossing the traditional way or using a Waterpik, flossing is an essential hygiene routine that you must perform every single day! Remember, flossing helps you remove food particles and plaque from building up on your teeth, which can cause cavities, gum disease, and other harmful oral health issues.
If you’d like to learn more about switching to Waterpik, ask your friendly Dakota Dental dentist for more information. Or if you’re worried your flossing routine needs a refresher course, our hygienists can help you and your family learn how to floss correctly, so you’re always getting the full benefits!
Improve Your Smile in 2021
In addition to flossing every day, make sure visiting your local dentist at least twice a year for cleanings is on your to-do list. To schedule an appointment at Dakota Dental, contact us today!
We look forward to helping your smile shine brighter well into the New Year!