Essential Part of an Oral Care Routine
It’s recommended that you floss at least once a day in addition to brushing twice a day to maintain good oral health. Flossing removes trapped food debris, plaque and bacteria in hard-to-reach spaces between teeth and gums where your toothbrush can’t reach. Without daily flossing, bacteria will calcify, turn to tartar, and lead to gum problems.
Water Flosser vs. String Floss
Flossing involves threading a thin string of nylon or teflon between teeth in a C-shape pattern to remove plaque. A water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator, works by shooting out a thin, pressurized stream of water between teeth. Some may find a water flosser is easier to use than traditional floss. It’s much less hands on, and less technique intensive.
When choosing between a water flosser or string floss, be sure to think about:
Ease of Use: String floss is fairly easy to use, but very technique intensive. Many find an oral irrigator to be far more convenient and a great addition to their oral care routine.
Electricity: Most water flossers are electric, so they’ll need to be plugged into an outlet in your bathroom.
Customization - While there are many different types of floss, they all involve weaving a thin piece of nylon between your teeth. There aren’t many ways to account for issues like sensitive gums. An oral irrigator with multiple pressure settings, especially one with a sensitive mode, is great if gum sensitivity is a problem for you.
Which Is Better?
It is not recommended to replace traditional flossing with water flossing. While water flossers do a great job of removing food particles and rinsing away plaque by shooting a stream of water between your teeth, they cannot replicate the scraping motion of string floss that removes tartar-causing plaque that can eventually cause gum disease. It’s best to incorporate both traditional and water flossing to your daily routine for optimal oral hygiene.
However, there are some instances where an oral irrigator may be seen as a better option to string floss:
Sensitive Gums - Water flossers may be a less painful option for people with sensitive gums.
Braces - The pressurized water from a water flosser is one of the best ways to get food out of your braces without having to weave traditional dental floss in and out of your teeth.
Dexterity issues - An oral irrigator can be particularly useful for people with arthritis or braces, where maneuvering string floss can prove difficult.
In these situations when string floss can’t be used, a water flosser is great in combination with string flossing.