Most people know to brush and floss their teeth regularly. However, many people have questions about whether water flossing is an alternative to traditional flossing. A water flosser also called a water pick, is a dental device that shoots a jet of high-pressure water between the teeth. Similar to how floss scrapes off plaque and bacteria between the teeth, the stream of water forms a water flosser to reach between the teeth, acting almost like a power washer for plaque and scraping away bacteria. It’s important to understand the pros and cons for each tool.
Advantages of Floss
There are several advantages to traditional flossing. These include:
- Flossing is a very efficient way to remove excess food from your teeth.
- Floss is inexpensive, and you can buy it at any drugstore, grocery store, pharmacy, mini-mart, or airport.
- Flossing is quick and easy. You can do it almost anywhere.
Despite the many advantages to flossing, there are several disadvantages as well. These include:
- difficulty reaching some areas of the mouth with floss
- flossing can cause minor bleeding, especially if not done regularly
- worsening or causing gum sensitivity
- floss can be difficult for people with limited manual dexterity
Advantages of a Water Flosser
- A water flosser is easy to use, especially for those with braces, or other types of dental work (like bridges).
- It’s also a great choice for those with arthritis or limited dexterity.
- The massaging action can improve gum health and reach areas where traditional floss can’t.
- A water flosser can be expensive.
- It takes up storage space on your bathroom counter.
- It needs electricity and water.
- It’s difficult to use outside of your home.
Which is Better?
There are many studies that have compared water flossing and string dental flossing, with mixed results. The American Dental Association (ADA) Council On Scientific Affairs awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance to some water flossers based on its finding that they are safe and have shown efficacy for removing plaque along the gumline and between teeth and for helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis. The Mayo Clinic, while they recognize the benefits of water flossing, considers standard dental floss the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth.
Which of these two techniques is best is an ongoing question and there really is no right answer. The most important thing is to clean between the teeth and under the gums each day.
The professional and aware team at Advanced Dental Arts would love to help you learn the best-suited techniques for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. Call today to schedule an appointment at 813-701-5074.