Is a Water Flosser as Good as Flossing?
Dental professionals encourage their patients to floss every day. However, many individuals feel that traditional flossing is complicated or ineffective enough to maintain optimal dental hygiene, even when pairing it with regular brushing habits. Unfortunately, while both of those acts are essential, there are just some tight parts between teeth that manage to hang on to pesky food particles and plaque despite the efforts of the toothbrush and the string/ribbon floss.
Flossing teeth is essential to dental health because it effectively reaches where a toothbrush simply cannot. When a dentist recommends that a patient utilize a pulsating oral irrigator, also known as an oral care water flosser or a water flosser, patients may question if the water flosser is as good as flossing.
Is a Water Flosser as Good as Flossing?
This is a bit of a tough question to answer. One cannot definitively say “yes” or “no” simply because while traditional floss and water flosser serve the same basic function, they do have their own upsides. What is without question, however, is that both methods are very effective at mitigating dental issues.
Neither one is a substitute for brushing. Scrubbing the brush against teeth still lifts a majority of the gunk and plaque that cause tartar build-up, weaken enamel, generate cavities, and make patients more prone to gum diseases. Flossing gets in between teeth to remove plaque from teeth. Because these are stuck in small, tight spaces, the bristles of a brush may either not reach them or not do so with enough prowess to power them out of wherever they are lodged.
So, what is better in a water flosser vs. string flossing approach? Research is a bit conflicted when it comes to comparing the two. The benefits of a water flosser are that it is basically like a dental power wash. The application of water pressure dislodges particularly difficult particles, allowing them to come off the teeth. The ADA (American Dental Association) does back water flossers for excellent plaque removal but stop short of saying that it is better than standard flossing.
Flossing allows the patients to get between their teeth, clearing out stuck particles and scrubbing the sides of their teeth. A portable water flosser blasts streams of water, at a power level chosen by the user, to blast away food particles and tartar build-up from tough-to-reach areas.
Traditional flossing is something that many patients struggle with, especially younger kids and those who are wearing braces. String floss around braces is a nuisance, needing to work through particular tiny spaces and pull the string all the way through teeth to get it out. It’s also hard to actually maneuver food particles out as the string can often get annoyingly get stuck on the brace brackets themselves.
However, the best teeth flosser has the advantage of unloading a powerful stream of water into an area and washing it out. Water follows the path of least resistance, so when it is directed into a tight area between teeth, it has little place to go except right into the small space, allowing for adequate cleansing of the area.
Those with bridges, crowns, or dental implants benefit from the water flosser for similar reasons, but also lessen the chances of the dental appliance being neglectfully removed or dislodged if a string floss gets stuck in them or the user pulls it back just a bit too hard, resulting in costly repairs.
Benefits of Standard Flossing
Where the water flosser may come up short is in how much it cleans between teeth. While it will quite adequately blast any pieces of food and plaque between teeth, it does not remove all of it. Standard flossing allows one particular benefit and that is the ability to scrub the sides of teeth, something tough to maneuver a water flosser into accomplishing.
However, for people wearing braces, best water flosser for braces could be a better choice. It's difficult to push hard with string floss and move between bnraces.
Traditional floss is also easy to control and the ability to get to the sides of teeth is an especially great benefit. That way the bacteria, small food particles, and plaque built up on the sides is not missed during dental cleaning.
While both traditional flossing and water flossing have their benefits, their shortcomings are nicely complemented by each other. A water flosser makes reaching hard-to-reach areas easier, makes flossing with braces or other dental appliances easier, and is simple to use. Traditional floss allows for more control and the ability to scrub between teeth. Water floss vs string floss? Better together!
Each of these methods makes up for the deficiencies of the other. Many people like to brush first, then thoroughly floss, meticulously scrubbing the sides of their teeth in the process. Then, with the plaque and the food particles dislodged, the water flosser can blast them away, allowing the user to rinse and get rid of all of the gunk that has been hiding on their teeth, reducing their dental well-being.
Which Should I Use Best Flosser?
Both methods are effective to a large degree, so, therefore, dental professionals are not pushy on one over the other for the most part. It is simply better to let a person decide which they prefer and which method they are comfortable with. Ideally, one should use both alongside routine brushing, but the choice between the two is similar enough that it really comes down to preference.
We would be remiss if we didn’t address the price aspect. Traditional floss is inexpensive in individually sold units, while a water flosser, depending on the type can be relatively costly. However, if one uses standard floss daily, it will need to be replenished, while a water flosser needs replacements or repairs very infrequently. Therefore, while the upfront investment for a water flosser is higher, it pays for itself in the long run.
If you have the option, picking up both is the more sensible way to go. This isn’t a true contest of superiority, but rather a strategic matter of teamwork to keep your mouth’s dental health in optimal form.
The water teeth cleaning equipment will safeguard your dental hygiene helpfully more than you think. And the toothbrush, and string floss, we couldn't neglect them as well.