Is Water Flossing A Better Alternative To Regular Flossing?

When it comes to achieving a gorgeous and healthy smile, flossing regularly improves your oral hygiene by taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between your teeth prevents plaque from building up over time from the leftover food particles in your mouth. Creating a regular flossing routine will not only get you to floss every day, but aid in removing bacteria caused by plaque that in time can harden and turn into tartar. Once hardened, the tartar collected along your gum line can only be removed by a dentist (as regular flossing won’t be proficient in removing the rough yellow substance). It’s crucial to address this issue with your dentist as tartar can tarnish your oral hygiene and cause gum disease. However, with different methods to clean and floss your teeth, many people question whether water flossing is a better alternative to regular flossing?

Flossing

The traditional form of flossing with a thin string, is a simple yet powerful tool for cleaning tight areas between your teeth and around the gums. Standard dental floss is used to scrape away plaque, allowing you to manually maneuver in an up and down motion between teeth.

Advantages of Flossing

String floss is considered one of the most effective methods for removing excess bacteria and plaque off teeth. The ease of use and control of being able to individually wipe down each individual tooth, is one of the key advantages. It’s an easy, accessible tool that’s readily available from your dental clinic, supermarkets, pharmacies and the price point is very affordable. The floss containers are also compact and portable, allowing you to floss anytime, anywhere.

Disadvantages of Flossing

Despite many dentists commonly recommending the traditional string floss method, there are some obstacles that may prevent some individuals from using dental floss. One main problem is that some people have difficulty reaching between certain areas, especially where teeth are positioned closely. Some people may also experience gum bleeding if not flossing properly or frequently. This can cause gum sensitivity or worsen the overall condition of gums, from constant floss irritation. Some people may find it difficult and tricky to handle when they have braces, have had specific dental work, or simply have difficulty in holding the string in a certain position for a long period of time. 

Water Picking or Water Flossing

Water picking or oral pulsating irrigation, is a new method that differs from traditional flossing. It’s a handheld machine that uses steady water streams to clean away bacteria, food particles and plaque underneath the gums and between teeth. This device releases water with controllable pressure, to massage the gums and gently push food away, rather than scraping the teeth.  

Advantages of Water Picking/Flossing

Water flossing has many benefits for people who have dexterity issues and experience difficulty in positioning their hands properly when using string floss. It’s a great tool for reaching inaccessible areas. This is especially true for individuals who have braces, tightly spaced teeth or other dental work. When compared to traditional flossing, water flossers are safe and don’t cause irritation or bleeding of the gums due to the massage water action, cleaning your mouth and removing plaque with ease.  

Disadvantages of Water Picking/Flossing

In spite of water flossing being a safe and gentle alternative with no major risks, it is vastly more expensive when compared to dental floss. It’s also an electric device that needs to be charged and requires space for storage. It can be frustrating to have another item on your bathroom bench if you already use an electric toothbrush or other electrical appliances. Also, electric water flossers are not as easily portable.

Which technique would best suit me and is water flossing a better alternative to regular flossing? Both methods have vast benefits that, in addition to brushing and using mouthwash, clean and take care of your oral health. Studies have shown that users who water floss have noticed a greater reduction in gum bleeding and plaque when using a manual toothbrush, in comparison to the group who use dental floss. Other studies indicate that many dentists still recommend traditional flossing, moreover, or instead of water flossing.

The best option for you is one you will stick to, enjoy and develop a routine habit. Certain individuals prefer the control from regular flossing, others enjoy the deep-clean feeling obtained after using an oral pulsating irrigator. Regardless of which option gravitates towards you the most, always speak to your dentist about any concerns in order to discover the best option for you.