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What’s Better for Your Teeth? Waterpik vs. Flossing

It’s the question that people dread when they visit the dentist: “Have you been flossing regularly?”. A lot of us probably can’t truthfully say that we do. Only about half of Americans floss every day or close to it. One in five Americans doesn’t floss at all.

Flossing is important, because it removes food debris stuck between your teeth, as well as eliminating bacteria and plaque in areas that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. You’re not getting to your entire mouth without flossing, and it’s strongly recommended by dentists. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that interdental cleaning is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” They recommend daily flossing in addition to brushing twice a day in order to maintain good oral hygiene.

A spool of dental floss isn’t your only option though when it comes to cleaning between your teeth. Hundreds of products claim to make this task easier. There are wooden sticks, individual flossers, interdental brushes, and water flossers. Water flossers are becoming more and more popular, and Waterpik is one of the most well known brands. In this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Waterpik as compared to flossing with conventional dental floss.

Traditional Flossing

Flossing has been proven to significantly reduce gum disease and tooth decay by eliminating the amount of bacteria in the mouth, and dental floss is the most common and well-known method of cleaning between the teeth.

While it is very effective in maintaining oral health, it can be tricky to do correctly, and it does take some practice to do it the right way. It can be painful and cause some bleeding for people with gingivitis. It also requires a fair amount of manual dexterity, so it can be hard for some people to do effectively.

What Is A Waterpik?

The Waterpik brand produces a variety of dental devices, including electric toothbrushes as well as a range of water flossers. This article will look at the Waterpik water flossers. These devices create a thin jet of water, which has enough pressure to get between your teeth and force loose any particles of food debris, as well as remove plaque.

Though there are several brands of water flossers on the market, the name Waterpik has become synonymous with this dental tool. It’s the most popular brand, and Waterpik water flossers have been awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA has ruled that they are safe to use, and effective at removing plaque as well as preventing and reducing gingivitis.

Is Water Flossing More Effective than Dental Floss?

Water flossing has been shown to be more effective than traditional flossing in clinical studies. Studies of the Waterpik demonstrated that it is 51% more effective at reducing gingivitis than traditional flossing. It also reduces gum bleeding twice as effectively as flossing, and it also removes plaque 29% more effectively. One minute of water flossing with the Waterpik does lead to healthier teeth and gums. It reaches areas of your mouth that both a toothbrush and standard dental floss simply cannot reach, like pockets around one’s wisdom teeth.

Flossing with Braces: Waterpik Vs. Dental Floss

Cleaning around braces can be difficult, and the Waterpik has been shown by the manufacturer to be up to three times more effective than floss. While straightening teeth is important to be able to keep them clean as well, the Waterpik has been shown to be five times better than brushing alone so as to reduce plaque with braces. It also is more effective at reducing bleeding gums than tooth brushing alone.

Threading floss around braces makes the already tricky action of flossing that much more difficult. But it’s easy to use the water flosser so as to direct the water jet accurately, thus in turn being easier to clean around braces and make sure that any food debris is completely removed from behind the wires of the braces as well as between the teeth.

It’s important to maintain a brushing and flossing routine with braces. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily has been shown to be the ideal way to maintain oral health. And so, the Waterpik makes it easy to maintain a healthy flossing routine.

Ease of Use

It takes some practice to floss effectively with either dental floss or a water flosser. Both methods are effective for keeping the mouth clean. Flossing with traditional dental floss can be painful and cause bleeding gums if done incorrectly or if there is significant gingivitis. A water flosser, on the other hand, is gentler and less likely to cause bleeding or sore gums, while still being highly effective.

However, it’s easy to make a mess with the water flosser, especially as you’re initially learning to use it. If you’re sure to put the tip in your mouth before you turn on the water, you’ll be more likely to keep your bathroom counter dry, and you can lean over the sink so that the water goes down the drain instead of down your shirt or on the bathroom counter, floor or window.

Practicality

So far you’ve seen that the Waterpik is a great option for flossing, and can be even more effective than floss at maintaining your oral hygiene. But you can’t argue with the ease and simplicity of a box of dental floss, especially when traveling, because it’s so small and lightweight.

If you travel a lot, this may be a big deal, but if you’re interested in switching from traditional dental floss to a water flosser, you don’t have to take up half your suitcase space to bring it with you. There exists several different models of the Waterpik water flosser, and you can choose one that suits your needs.

For instance, there are small, portable water flossers available from Waterpik, like the Freedom Flosser, which is battery-powered and has a carrying case. It’s easy to pack up for travel, and the battery can last up to two months, so you won’t have to worry about carrying extra batteries or a charging station with you. This is also a great option for people with limited bathroom counter space.

If travel isn’t an issue, and you have plenty of bathroom counter space, you can opt for a countertop water flosser. With its reservoir, it is super easy to use; just keep the reservoir full and you’re good to go. You can even get different-colored tips for each member of your family.

So while nothing beats the portability, convenience and price of a spool of dental floss, a water flosser is a great option for keeping up with your oral hygiene and health, and even if you don’t have a lot of counter space or travel a lot, there are models that will be sure to work well for you.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has given you an idea of how effective and convenient a Waterpik can be for you and/or your family. They’re especially useful for people with braces, saving a lot of time and hassle when it comes to flossing. A water flosser can also be great for people with sensitive teeth and gums, or who have existing gingivitis, since traditional dental floss can be a little harsh and cause gums to bleed. Whether you opt for traditional dental floss or a modern water flosser, one thing is clear — daily flossing is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth!


Adam Elliot Altholtz serves as Administrator & Patient Coordinator of the “Find Health in Ecuador Dental Clinic” in Cuenca, Ecuador, and for purposes of discussing your Dental needs or questions, is available via email at info@findhealthinecuador.com, via US phone number of 1­‐(941)‐227­‐0114 or on the Clinic’s Ecuador phone number of 07‐410­‐8745.