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Is the Waterpik Better Than Floss?

close up of woman smiling and flossing
Author: cmcgovern Posted: October 1st, 2020 Category:

Water flossing might seem like an appealing alternative to traditional flossing, but it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for traditional dental floss. 

In the past decade, water flossers have quickly become a popular component of many people’s dental hygiene routines. Water flossers like Waterpik help to remove dental plaque using pressurized water — all from your own home. 

While water flossing can offer comfort and convenience, many dental patients may be wondering about the effectiveness of water flossing compared to traditional string floss. To clear up the confusion, we’re here to take on the question: is the Waterpik actually a suitable alternative to dental floss? 

What is a water flosser? 

First things first. A water flosser is an irrigation tool that uses a pulsating stream of pressurized water to clean and rinse your teeth. While the Waterpik is an especially well-known brand of water flosser, plenty of other brands produce water flossers, too. Every water flosser has the same goal: to reduce plaque buildup and improve dental hygiene.

A water flosser is relatively simple to operate, requiring only access to water, electricity, and the flossing apparatus. To floss using a water flosser, simply fill up the designated reservoir with lukewarm water, attach the irrigative tip, and direct the stream to the areas you wish to floss. When you use a water flosser, make sure to close your lips for an effective seal.

Water flossing offers plenty of benefits. Because the water stream can easily access your back molars and gums, water flossing can be an effective way to reduce plaque buildup in hard-to-reach parts of your mouth. Water flossers can also be helpful for people who have difficulty using traditional string floss due to limited hand mobility, limited jaw mobility, or metal braces. 

Is the Waterpik better than floss? 

In short: no, water flossing is not better than traditional string floss. While the Waterpik and similar tools are proven to reduce plaque buildup, water flossing still comes with limitations that make it an incomplete substitute for dental floss.

There are plenty of conflicting reports showing the effectiveness of water flossing in removing plaque. While the jury is still out on just how effective water flossing might be, most dental experts agree that water flossing is not as effective in removing plaque as string floss. Water flossing is also significantly more expensive than traditional floss, and a Waterpik is less convenient to transport than a roll of string floss. 

Caring for your teeth and gums

The bottom line is: even if you are using a Waterpik, make sure to floss with traditional string floss at least once a day. String floss allows you to remove plaque from the space between your teeth and gums, while water flossing can rinse out loose particles and wash the surface of your teeth. Ultimately, a combination of water flossing and traditional dental floss can be a great way to maintain dental hygiene. 

In addition to flossing, keep up with your oral health by visiting the dentist at least twice a year for a teeth cleaning and checkup. For any of your dental needs, visit us at Espire. With qualified dentists across the Denver Metro area, we offer a stress-free dental environment with a patient focus. Request an appointment today — your smile is too important to wait