Cleaning between your teeth is important if you want a healthy, beautiful smile. Which instrument should you choose when it comes to flossing your teeth? On one hand, traditional dental floss is a time-tested favorite. On the other, Waterpik flossing is a modern approach that is gaining fans. Considering the pros and cons of each of these methods can help you select the form of flossing that best suits your needs.
Evaluating Dental Floss vs. Waterpik Flossing
Flossing with String Floss
With traditional dental floss, a string is held against the tooth’s surface and rubbed gently up and down. The resulting friction scrubs away plaque from the tooth. It is especially effective in hard-to-reach areas. This includes the spaces between the teeth and along the gum line. Fans of the manual method like it because they have a great deal of control. They also have a wide selection of tools to choose from. String floss can be found in waxed, unwaxed, Teflon-coated and even flavored varieties. There are lengths you cut yourself and versions that are precut and set in plastic holders called dental picks.
However, this method of flossing your teeth does have its drawbacks.
- Using string floss can be unwieldy for people with restorations like crowns or bridgework.
- It can also be challenging for people with arthritis or sensitive skin.
- Additionally, too much pressure can make your gums bleed, which some people find unsettling.
Flossing with a Waterpik
With a water flosser, a stream of water is used to clean between the teeth and along the gum line. Waterpik flossing can be a good alternative for people who wear braces or have restorations that might snag with traditional floss. These devices may also be user-friendly for people with arthritis or clumsy fingers. Although they may not remove all plaque, they do a fair job of cleaning between teeth, rinsing out periodontal pockets, and washing away residues.
What potential downsides come with water flossers?
- These devices can be messy, especially when you’re first learning to use one.
- You’ll also want to be mindful of the settings. Some devices can be incredibly aggressive at full power. When used on high, they may injure delicate gum tissue, so you must be careful.
- Water flossers can also be more expensive.
- Lastly, a water flosser will consume more space on your bathroom counter.
Which Flossing Tool Is Better?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning the areas between your teeth at least once a day.
Which form of flossing gets top marks? Your oral health care team reaches for the string floss during your professional cleaning. However, research has shown that there’s little difference in the plaque removal achieved by the average person with the two methods. Ultimately, the best form of flossing is the one that you’ll use safely and consistently.
This article was to compare the dental Waterpik to traditional dental floss, but there are many other types of flossing tools. If you aren’t sure which is better for you, why not ask your dentist for a personal recommendation?
Do you have questions about your oral hygiene routine? Whether you want to perfect your tooth brushing technique, learn more about flossing, or schedule your next dental checkup, Wekiva Dental is happy to help. To learn more about our services, contact us today.