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:.