Flossing is a key step in maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Patients who floss avoid the gum disease and decay which are almost guaranteed problems for people who do not. If you are concerned about choosing the best tools to care for your teeth at home, we have all the details you need about water flossers and string floss here. The more informed you are, the more confident you will feel as you carefully care for your pearly whites.
Water Flosser vs String Floss: Points to Ponder
We considered several factors when reviewing the water flosser and comparing its performance with traditional floss.
- Price: Although waterflossers can cost between $30 and $70, the may be only cost slightly more than the lifetime supply of string floss that your water flosser would replace.
- Ease of Use: Both string floss and a waterflosser can do an excellent job in removing plaque and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, but a waterflosser is much easier to use correctly than traditional floss.
- Electricity: If you already own an electric toothbrush or any other electric bathroom accessories that use up the outlet nearest your bathroom counter, you may want to consider the logistical aspect of using your water flosser. Because waterflossers require electricity for use, consider where your water flosser will plug in and how you will fit your water flosser in with your other bathroom appliances.
- Quality of Flossing: While ease of use factors into the quality of clean you can achieve while using your water flosser or string floss, weighing in on a professional’s opinion of which type of floss can acheive the best results is important.
Can Water Flossers Replace String Floss?
No concrete verdict has been reached on whether or not a water flosser can clean the gaps between your teeth as effectively as string floss. The ADA has made no comment, and some dentists have no opinion on the matter, but most dentists agree that water flossers cannot replace manual string flossing.
Simple logic explains why string floss does a superior job at removing plaque –spraying water at the gaps between your teeth simply cannot get the traction it needs to remove sticky plaque and left behind food. For safety reasons, a waterflosser will never spit water out fast enough to acheive the “power washed” effect users may imagine.
Scraping is what cleans your teeth, which can only be accomplished with string floss. When you floss, the goal is to remove plaque and food so that the food does not become tartar, cause decay, or lead to gum disease.
Certainly water flossers or air flossers can remove food and plaque, but not as completely or effectively as string floss.
Are Water Flossers My Best Option?
While most dentists agree that water flossers do not clean your teeth as well as traditional floss, in some cases a water flosser may be a better choice.
Water flossers may be better than traditional floss if you find yourself in any of these oral health situations:
- Sensitive Gums. If your gums are sore and bleed when you floss, the gentle spray of a water flosser may be a more comfortable and effective choice for you.
- Braces. If you use traditional metal braces, a water flosser is much easier to use than string floss and is thereby more effective during orthodontic treatment.
- Dexterity issues. Threading and weaving string floss is difficult for patients with poor dexterity–water flossers are easy to use and ensure effective cleaning for people with even the lowest range of motion.
In other words, when string floss can’t be used, a water flosser provides a perfect solution.
In addition, for patients who find traditional floss to be so cumbersome and uncomfortable, to the point that they avoid flossing altogether, water flossing is a much better alternative to not flossing at all.
If you can use string floss but choose not to and are looking to waterflossing as a better alternative than not flossing at all, you may want to explore different types of string floss. Some types of string floss are easier and more comfortable to use and all string floss when used correctly will achieve a higher level of clean than water floss.
Advantages to Using Traditional Floss:
- Scrapes teeth more effectively, achieving a higher level of clean
- Lower cost when compared with water flosser
Advantaged to Using a Water Flosser
- Easy to use
- Best solution for people with poor dexterity, braces, sensitive gums, or who simply won’t floss with string
String floss is always the best option for keeping your teeth healthy and strong, but water floss will always be better than not flossing at all.
For more information about water flossing, read our article here:.
Braces are such an awesome tool in the dental world. Not only do they make smiles more attractive and straight, they also make smiles more healthy and easy to take care of. If you are considering braces, remember that the results you will acheive with braces will change your life by building your confidence and simplifying your dental routine. Consider these Frequently Asked questions as your appointment with an ” orthodontist near me” approaches.
How much do braces cost?
Three factors affect the price of braces: the degree to which your teeth are misaligned, the economy in your local area, the type of braces you choose, and whether you need an extraction or palate expansion in combination with your braces. More serious misalignment will increase the cost of your treatment. Overbites and crossbites take more work and time to correct, resulting in more expensive treatment. The average, naturally crooked smile is relatively quick and easy to correct.
In most cases, metal braces are the most affordable braces . Expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000 for treatment overall. Another option are ceramic braces, which cost a little bit more starting at around $4,000. Invisalign (a series of clear, plastic trays that align the teeth) is comparable in price to ceramic braces. The most expensive aligners are Lingual Braces, which are braces placed on the tongue side of your teeth, cost between $8,000 and $10,000.
Suggested Reading: Which is Better–Metal Braces or Invisalign?
Although braces may seem more expensive than you may be able to afford, there are ways to obtain a discount. Call your insurance provider to find out what they cover with regards to orthodontic treatment. Most will cover braces and Invisalign for children and teens up to a certain age (usually 18). Usually patients who receive discounted treatment with insurance pay $3000-$4000 less in out-of-pocket expense.
Additionally, you can search for a “orthodontist near me” that offers financing options to avoid paying everything upfront. At Platinum Dental Care we offer a simple payment plan that makes paying for your treatment easier. The total cost of your treatment will be split up as you go, appointment by appointment.
Do braces hurt?
Well, do braces hurt? Yes they do! But don’t panic–the pain braces cause can be compared to a scraped knee or a mild headache. When your braces are applied or your braces tightened, you will feel it. Be prepared for aching in your jaws or teeth. Most patients rely on a mild dosage of ibuprofen or ice packs for relief during treatment (not every day, but usually the day or two following a wire-tightening appointment.)
Other patients who experience pain from their braces have lacerated gums or cheeks from their wires. Your orthodontist will recommend rubbing wax on your poking wires. Sensitive mouths can also be relieved with a prescription anaesthetic motuh rub. Lingual braces and Invisalign will not cause these same type of scrapes along your tongue, cheeks, and gums.
What foods do you have to avoid when wearing braces?
Your first day with braces will cause you to have difficulty chewing with an achy jaw–mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, cotton candy, and other foods that require no chewing will become your best friends. This discomfort will disappear within days and you will get used to the feeling of chewing with braces–then you can begin adding other foods to your diet. During the entire course of your treatment, you should avoid the following foods in order to keep your treatment on track and your braces intact:
- Hard foods like nuts, hard candy, tortilla chips, and hard candy
- Extremely chewy foods like beef jerky and gummy candy
- Super sticky foods like toffee, gum, licorice, and caramels
- Foods like apples or corn on the cob that you bite into (you can still eat these if you cut them up first)
Modify these foods if you feel you cannot avoid them during your treatment–for example, break chips in your hands or use breathmints in place of chewing gum.
If you opt for Invisalign over regular braces, you do not have to worry about dietary restrictions. Since you remove your trays before you eat, you can eat any foods you desire and then place the trays back on your teeth after your meal. You do have to be careful what you drink when you are wearing the aligner trays. It’s okay to drink water with the aligners in place, but you need to remove them if you drink any sugary liquids or dark-colored beverages like coffee or tea, as they can stain the clear aligner trays.
How long do you have to wear braces?
At your initial visit with your orthodontist, he or she will give you an estimate of how long your treatment will take. The length of your treatment will depend on several factors including the type of aligners you choose (Invisalign, for example, will take longer than metal braces), how well you follow the orthodontist’s instructions, your age, and how misaligned your teeth are to begin with. Keep in mind that this initial estimate will likely change over the course of your treatment.
Most children and teens need to wear traditional braces for about two years. Older patients whose teeth are more difficult to shift will take longer (one of our adult patients who was 64 years old took 5 years for treatment). Patients should expect to wear their braces 6 months to a year if they have no overbite or crossbite.
How do you take care of your teeth when wearing braces?
Avoiding the above list of foods during your treatment will be your biggest help in caring for your teeth with braces. Additionally, you should avoid foods that are high in sugar to avoid cavities in hard-to-reach places. Brushing and flossing with braces is different than brushing and flossing without, but will still be simple and easy to perform every day.
Brushing your teeth with braces will be a key to having a truly beautiful and healthy smile after your braces are removed. Using a toothbrush with a small head and spending time to individually brush around each brace will be your key to success. “Needle and thread” flossing as instructed by your orthodontist after each meal (not just once a day) will also help you keep your teeth neat and clean. An antiseptic mouthwash will also help you keep your mouth clean. Keep your toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash on you at all times in order to keep your mouth clean.
Athletes with braces should also wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth, mouth, and braces while playing a sport. Look for a general “dentist near me” that can make you a customized mouth guard that fits precisely over your teeth with braces. Flying balls and elbows can cause a lot of pain and damage without this simple protection. If you do ever have a bracket or wire come loose, make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately to have it fixed–this will ensure that your treatment stays on track without delay. Between breaking a bracket and your next appointment, use wax to prevent wires from hurting your mouth or toungue.
Invisalign users will make no changes to their oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing normally will protect your teeth the same as always, just remove your aligners before brushing, and then brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. The only addition to your routine will be cleaning your aligners periodically.
Dentist Near Me
Everyone considering braces will likely have questions or doubts before treatement. Call our dental professionals at Platinum Dental Care to find an orthodontist who offers affordable braces in your area. You can call us at 1-801-806-4645, or fill out our online form to request an appointment . Our team will evaluate your smile, make some treatment recommendations, give you a quote, and answer any additional questions you may have about living with braces or Invisalign.