Water Flosser Vs Floss: Which Is Better (Pros & Cons)

BY Dr. McDowell  |  August 1st, 2022
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

You’re sitting in the chair at your dentist’s office, and you hear that dreaded question— “Have you been flossing?”

You knew this question was coming, but for some reason, you’re never quite prepared for the disappointment when you answer, “No.” 😞

If you’re finally ready to impress your dentist at your next dental check-up by telling them that you’ve been flossing each day, you might be wondering if a water flosser vs floss is better for you. While your gums, teeth, and dentist will thank you for using either option, some people are better candidates for one or the other.

Father and son cleaning teeth with dental floss

Yes, You Need to Floss— Here’s Why

We know that flossing is a tedious task. And if you’re brushing your teeth every day, why would you need to floss in addition?

Well, we promise that your dentist doesn’t ask you about flossing at every check-up just to make you feel bad about yourself. In fact, they’re simply looking out for your health because they want your teeth, gums, and overall health to be as best as it can be.

And yes, flossing really does impact your overall health.

Flossing has numerous benefits, including:

Did you know that you have a 20% higher chance of developing heart disease if you have gum disease? Gum health really is a vital component of your overall health, and flossing plays a key role in protecting your gum health.

It’s ideal to floss at least once per day. If you don’t floss after every meal, opt to do it at the end of the day before you go to bed.

There are a few different ways you can floss, including:

The two most common types of flossing are traditional string dental floss and water flossers. Let’s take a closer look at the comparison between the two.

Traditional String Floss

The history of dental floss dates further back than most people realize. Many anthropologists have found evidence that prehistoric people used various tools to clean their teeth in ways that are similar to modern-day flossing.

Floss was first mentioned in print in 1819 in a book called “A Practical Guide to the Management of the Teeth” by Levi Spear Parmly. Then 55 years later, floss was formally patented by Asahel M. Shurtleff, who designed the packaging that included a cutter— very similar to the floss found in the aisles today.

To use traditional string floss, follow these tips:

🦷 Pro Tip: Be mindful not to “snap” your floss quickly in and out of your teeth. This can cause damage to your gums.

👍 Traditional Floss Pros

There are many advantages to traditional string floss, including:

👎 Traditional Floss Cons

Additionally, there are some disadvantages to consider, such as:

Smiling woman holding dental floss near daughter teeth in bathroom

Water Flossers (Water Picks)

Water flossers (also called water picks or waterpiks) are oral irrigators that were invented in 1962 by a dentist and a hydraulic engineer. Water flossers use a pressurized stream of water to clean away food particles, plaque, and bacteria between teeth and under the gumline.

To use a water flosser, follow these steps:

water flosser

👍 Water Flosser Pros

Water flossers have some impressive pros, such as:

👎 Water Flosser Cons

However, there are some disadvantages to consider when it comes to water flossers:

Which Option Is Best for You?

Both traditional string floss and water flossers are safe and effective to use. Overall, most dentists recommend traditional string floss if it is accessible for your body.

However, if traditional manual flossing is difficult for you due to dexterity issues, arthritis, or braces, water flossers are a fantastic and accessible alternative that will still keep your oral health in top condition.

Never Be Scared of the Dentist Again

Here at Wayzata Dental, we’re big proponents of flossing in whatever way works best for you. In fact, our entire philosophy of dental care is to be as relaxing and comfortable as possible. We offer laser dentistry with no lasers or drills to keep you healthy, smiling, and relaxed.

Feel free to ask any of our dentists and hygienists about different flossing methods to see what works best for you. And when it’s time to schedule your bi-yearly cleaning and check-up, reach out to our friendly staff!

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

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