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Regular flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Your dental hygienist has probably explained how brushing alone doesn’t cut it. The bristles of your toothbrush simply can’t reach the food particles and sticky plaque trapped between your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. This is why interdental cleaning, such as flossing, is essential.
There are two options for interdental cleaning:
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice daily and cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner. But which approach is better?
Waterpik is the most popular brand of water flossers. It uses a pressurized stream of water to clean between your teeth and under your gum line. Some studies show that Waterpik water flossers remove more plaque than standard floss.1
All of Waterpik’s flossers have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means they’re proven safe and effective at preventing oral health issues like gum disease.
There are advantages and downsides to using a Waterpik.
Using a Waterpik flosser can help treat hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, including:
Other benefits of water flossing include:
The main drawback of Waterpiks is their cost. They range in price from about $40 to $200. Some people also report water flossers can be messy and take some time to get used to. In addition, some studies suggest using a Waterpik is not as effective as floss for cavity prevention.
The answer remains unclear.
One study from 2013 found that water flossers were significantly more effective at removing plaque.1 Another study from 2021 found that water flossing and string flossing were equally efficient at removing plaque.2
The bottom line is, the best dental hygiene method is one you will stick to. If you struggle to maintain a daily habit of flossing, a Waterpik may help.
A Waterpik isn’t a substitute for brushing. It’s an alternative to traditional floss that helps reduce bacteria and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
You may prefer to use a Waterpik instead of flossing if you:
There are a few easy steps to follow to use a Waterpik Water Flosser correctly:
Dental floss use goes back as far as prehistoric times. Manual flossing was first recommended by a dentist named Levi Spear Parmly in 1819. Floss was officially patented 55 years later by Asahel M. Shurtleff.
After all these years, traditional flossing remains the most popular method for removing plaque and food debris from teeth. However, there are some pros and cons to this approach:
String floss is significantly cheaper than water flossers. It typically costs $5 to $10 for several yards, which will last months.
It also gives you plenty of control. Flossing manually enables you to clean each tooth in an up-and-down motion, moving the floss between the teeth.
Some people may be unable to treat specific areas of the mouth when using string floss. You may also have difficulty reaching between teeth that are very close together.
If you floss too far down below the gum line or too aggressively, your gums may bleed.
Waterpik Water Flossers and traditional string floss are two methods for interdental cleaning. Scientific studies show water flossing is more effective at removing plaque than traditional flossing.
The cost of a Waterpik is relatively high compared to string floss. However, water flossing may be easier for people with dental restorations, orthodontic devices, or limited mobility. You should discuss with your dentist or hygienist what the best option for you is.
Flossing is very important in your oral care routine. You should do it at least once daily to help keep your gums and teeth healthy. Various flossing tools are available, so try out each kind so you know which flossing tool best fits your needs and preferences.
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