Water flossers have been around for more than fifty years, and there have been at least that many studies on their effectiveness. At Cary Family Dental, we’re using this space to present what is known about water flossers, and whether they’re better than ordinary string floss in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.
First of all, the main benefit of standard dental floss – string floss – is that it passes easily between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. It is easy to use, inexpensive, readily available, and a very efficient way of removing plaque.
On the down side, some people find it hard to reach certain areas of the mouth, like way in back. It can cause minor bleeding, and gum sensitivity. People with agility issues may find it hard to use.
Water flossers use pulsing water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. A special machine directs a jet spray that can be very effective. They too are easy to use, and in addition to cleaning your teeth can also massage the gums.
They’re also great for people with braces and other dental work. The stream of pulsing water makes it easy to get those areas that are harder to reach with string floss. They are also an excellent solution for people with issues like arthritis.
On the other hand, water flossers can be expensive. You need to find a place to store them when not in use. And they require electricity.
The Bottom Line
It isn’t necessarily an either/or situation. The best dental health routine at home may well be to floss, brush, and water floss (not necessarily in that order). The sequence in which these are done comes down to your personal preference. To put it another way: whatever works!
At Cary Family Dental, we think the most important thing, by far, is that you establish a dental health routine that you practice every day. We also like to see you for regular cleanings and checkups. We offer general and family dentistry, and a full range of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Please call to schedule an appointment with us today!