Water Flossing vs. Traditional Flossing – Which is Better?

Little boy with his father in bathroom cleaning teeth with dental floss. Both looking in mirror and brushing teeth.

There is no doubt whatever that flossing your teeth is one of the best ways of preventing the build-up of plaque and keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. The only question that remains is the method you should use, water or traditional string flossing?

Water flossing vs traditional flossing, which is better, and why?

When trying to decide which method is best for you, these are some of the things you should think about:

  • Price: String floss is much cheaper than a water flosser, which can cost up to $70.
  • Convenience: Although string floss is not hard to use, a water flosser can be easier. On the other hand, a water flosser is not very portable while a packet of string floss will slip easily into your pocket, making it ideal for use on the go. And you don’t need an electric socket to use traditional string floss.
  • Results: There’s a lot of debate around which gives the best results, water or traditional flossing so we’ll look at this question in more detail below.

Can water flossing be as effective as traditional flossing?

In traditional flossing,  a string of thin filaments is drawn back and forth between the teeth, scraping against them and removing plaque. Water flossing uses jets of water to wash particles of food and plaque from between the teeth. Most dentists agree that the scraping motion of the string does a far better job of removing plaque build-up than merely washing with jets of water. The force of the water is effective in flushing out bits of food and some plaque but scraping is a better way of breaking down any build-up of plaque that has occurred during the day. So to answer the question above, experts are of the opinion that traditional flossing is the most effective way of keeping your teeth plaque-free and healthy.

What’s the point of water flossing then?

Close-up of a smiling woman face with braces cleaning her teeth with a water flosser.

Traditional string flossing, in conjunction with regular brushing, of course, is the recommended way of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but for some people, it might not be the best method. String flossing can be problematic for people with:

  • Sensitive gums. The scraping motion that is so effective in removing plaque can also cause people with sensitive gums a lot of pain.
  • Braces. String floss will get tangled in braces and may dislodge them and other dental implants.
  • Dexterity issues. People with dexterity or coordination issues may find it hard to position their hands properly to use string floss.

In these cases, water flossing is recommendable as the alternative is no flossing at all. The same goes for people who never seem to get round to regular flossing. If you’re one of those people for whom regular flossing is just too much of a chore, try a water flosser. It might not do quite as good a job as traditional flossing but like we said, any flossing is better than none.

Just keep in mind that whichever method you use, it’s still a good idea to get your teeth cleaned by a professional every six months or so. Not only will this keep your smile a dazzling white, it’ll also give your dentist or dental hygienist the chance to spot any potential problems that are developing and deal with them before they become major issues so schedule an appointment with us today for expert cleaning and dental care in a compassionate environment.

 

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