Dental floss or water pick: Which is better?

Flossing is an integral component of any great oral hygiene routine. If you are brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you're on the right track towards maintaining healthy gums, strong teeth, and fresh breath.

When it's time to floss, even though you might think that you need to reach for good old string floss, you do have another option that might appeal to you more: the Water floss.

Water flossers can be a great choice for people who don't like or can't use traditional string floss. However, water flossers aren't for everyone.

A water floss may be right for you if you struggle to use traditional flossing methods or don't floss as often as you should. You will likely find water flossing to be easier and more pleasant than traditional flossing, as a result, you may do it more often than usual.

On the other hand, water flossing is messier than regular flossing. In order to minimize this, it is advised that you close your lips most of the way before you turn on the water to avoid splashing all over your mirror and lean over the sink to allow the water to drip out of your mouth as you use it. Once you turn the power on, floss along your gum line and between your teeth.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry compared the effectiveness of a water flosser to string floss used in combination with a manual toothbrush. The researchers found that the group who used the water pick had a 74% reduction in dental plaque as compared to a 58% reduction in the group who used the traditional string floss.

This alternative is also ideal for those who wear braces or other dental appliances, as another study, conducted by the University of Nebraska, found that using the water flosser reduced gum disease by more than 50% and bleeding by as much as 93%. It is also a product accepted by the American Dental Association, although, many dentists and hygienists still recommend string flossing either in addition to or instead of water flossing.

The best time to use a flosser is before you brush your teeth. Doing so can allow you to remove food debris and plaque, making teeth brushing more effective. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner. The most recommended is to use the water flosser before you go to bed because overnight is typically when you spend the longest without food or drink.

Whichever way you choose to it, there is no way around it, flossing is a necessary habit. Please contact our St. Catharines Denture Clinic for more information or to book a consultation.