You would agree that nothing is more flattering than a gorgeous, healthy smile. But at the same time, taking care of your teeth and gums is much more than just good looks. Poor oral hygiene might cause cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. It is important to note that regular brushing might not be enough to clean out food particles, bacteria, and plaque from between teeth. It is where a water flosser can serve the purpose.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for good oral health. But do you know flossing is equally important? There are many areas that your toothbrush cannot reach easily. Like between your teeth or along your gum line. However, the traditional string floss you might use is not the only way to clean these hard-to-reach areas. Other products on the market can help with this task and remove the food items stuck in your mouth – such as the water flosser.
The Importance of Water Flosser
Do you know that gum disease can negatively affect your health? The bacteria that cause gum disease may also get into your bloodstream and target the fetus. That sounds risky. It may finally lead to prematurity and even low birth weight in babies.
You should brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste as it is a good start. Regular brushing may not clean out food particles, bacteria, and plaque from between your teeth.
Note that toothbrush bristles are not small enough to clean effectively in the tight spaces between your teeth. For this reason, interdental cleaning, like flossing, is a good option. It is even recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).
It also helps to understand the similarities and differences between the two. It will help you decide which is better for you. It is also essential to understand each tool and what these tools can and cannot do.
How A Water Flosser Works?
As you might have seen, water flossers are handheld devices that you can use to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth. Before use, you should fill the device with water.
When you turn on the device, it will emit a steady stream of water. You can then easily position the device in your mouth to clean, especially between the teeth and the gum line.
Reasons to Consider Water Flossing
There are many reasons why people often switch to water flossing. Note that water flossing is a substitute for traditional flossing for individuals with difficulty holding string floss. Many people cannot use string floss effectively, especially between their teeth.
Also, for people with arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other such abnormal conditions that affect the hands, such people using string floss is difficult. For such people, it is hard to maneuver string floss around the teeth.
For such people, water flossing might be an easier way to clean between their teeth and along the gum line. Moreover, dental braces could also make flossing difficult. As it obstructs the free movement of the floss. People who have trouble flossing, especially around their dental work, may benefit from – an alternative like a water flosser.
Effectiveness of Water Flosser
Many may ask if water flossing is as effective as traditional string floss. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry – reported that water flossing was 29 percent more effective than most conventional flossing methods.
If you use water flossers, it may result in more successful plaque removal overall. Another interesting study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry – concluded that using a manual toothbrush and a water flosser was more effective in removing plaque. Rather than using only a manual toothbrush or an interdental brush. Today you can look for several flossing alternatives that may suit you.
What Is a Waterpik?
A Waterpik is only a brand of water flosser or oral irrigator. Like any flosser, it can spray water to remove food from between your teeth. Water flossers may be a good option for individuals who have trouble with traditional flossing. As you know, a standard flosser involves threading string-like material, especially between your teeth.
How to Use It
A water flosser will not replace your toothbrush or traditional flossing. However, you still need to brush your teeth twice a day, but you can also use the water flosser before or after.
First, you need to fill your water flosser’s reservoir with lukewarm water. Then put the flosser tip in your mouth. Remember to lean over the sink to avoid a mess.
Turn it on, and then start cleaning your teeth. First, hold the handle at a 90-degree angle to your teeth and create the spray. Water will come out in steady pulses, cleaning between your teeth. The device is quite simple to use.
Start at the back of your mouth and work your way all around to clean your teeth. First, focus on the top of your teeth, the gum line, and especially the spaces between each tooth. Remember to clean the back of your teeth, too.
The cleaning process should take about 2 minutes. Try to empty any extra water from the reservoir when you have completed the cleaning, so bacteria do not grow inside.
How It Works
Like any regular flossing, water flossing will remove any food stuck between your teeth and the bacteria lingering there. Over time it will harden into plaque. Note that your toothbrush can not get into those small spaces. Water flossing will also reduce gum disease and bleeding.
Is Water Flossing as Good as Dental Floss?
Yes, they are helpful. The American Dental Association says – water flossers that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance can get rid of plaque. Plaque is the film that turns into tartar and will lead to cavities and gum disease. However, some studies find water flossers do not remove plaque as well as traditional floss can.
Therefore, it is advised not to throw away your traditional dental floss to try something new. Even today, most dentists still consider regular flossing the best way to clean your teeth – especially in between.
The old-fashioned stuff will let you scrape up and down the sides of your teeth to remove plaque. You can try waxed floss or dental tape if it gets stuck in small spaces. Note that flossing may be uncomfortable initially, especially if you are not in the habit. But slowly, it should get easier once you start using it.
You can consider a water flosser if you have trouble using any dental floss. A water flosser might be helpful if you have dental work or braces like permanent or fixed bridges. It is also suitable for periodontal disease or extremely dry mouths.
You can also try one if you have arthritis or other problems using your hands. Teens or kids with braces sometimes find water flossing easier compared to traditional flossing. You can ask your dentist if it is a good idea to switch to a water flosser or add one to your routine.
Benefits of Using a Water Flosser
The water flosser is just as effective as traditional string dental floss. You may use it to clean between teeth. You can consider these benefits if you are unsure if it is right for you.
During traditional flossing, you may require dragging the floss down each side of the tooth and up again. Water flosser is a good alternative for people with crowded teeth and who do not use proper technique. Some use too much force while flossing their teeth. For such people flossers can help clean the food particles. The floss can then cut or inflame the gums, leading to redness, swelling, and bleeding.
Water flossers do not require force as it allows the water to flush the spaces between teeth and around the gums. So generally, abrasion and cuts are not a concern.
Excellent for Braces
For people with braces, flossing is generally tricky, but it is still necessary. You need to take out food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Water flossers can get into hard-to-reach places much more effectively and efficiently.
Ideal for Mobility Issues
For people with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or other such issues that might affect their mobility in their hands or wrists, flossing using string floss can be impossible. Moreover, holding and aiming the water flosser is generally more straightforward for such people with these challenges.
If you use string dental floss, it can get to the areas just below your gum line. But if pockets or spaces develop due to gum disease or gingivitis, flossing will not work. A water flosser can clean more deeply and eliminate more bacteria from those pockets, especially around the gums. As a result, it minimizes infection risk and improves gum health.
To maintain good oral health, you should floss once daily. If you have any difficulty using traditional string floss, try talking to your dentist or dental hygienist about other flossing alternatives – like water flosser. With your dentist’s help, you can determine the best method to clean your teeth. At the same time, achieve a healthy smile.
These two studies confirm the benefits of water flossing. However, it is essential to note that there are wide varieties available in the market today. Before you decide to replace your tried-and-true string floss with a water flosser – it is a good idea to consult your dentist for advice.