Water Flosser vs Floss: Which One Is Better and Why?

Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you.

But visible dental problems such as plaque can turn your beautiful and confident smile into a nervous and embarrassing one.

So, how can you avoid such dreadful scenario?

The answer is very obvious, you need to floss regularly.

Now, there are two types of flossing; traditional flossing and water flossing.

So, which one would be ideal for the maintenance of your oral health?

We will get to that, but first, you need to get acquainted with both traditional floss and the water floss.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is a string of thin filaments which is used to remove unwanted substances such as plaque and food remnants from between your teeth, places which are inaccessible to the toothbrush.

Since the 17th century, it is being used to flush out the pieces of food that get stuck between our teeth.  Over time, however, the material and shape of the floss have evolved significantly.

There are several varieties of dental floss available such as waxed, unwaxed, Expanding, dental tape, and woven.

You can pick any type of flossing that you may deem suitable to your needs.

How to Use Dental Floss

The process itself is quite easy.  You can dislodge plaque and other harmful substance from your teeth by following a few simple steps,

Step 1: First choose a dental floss according to your preference

Step 2: Wind the 18 inches section of your floss around your second finger. It will leave your forefinger free to guide the floss.

Step 3: Keep a 3-4 inches length of floss between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands.

Step 4: Floss your upper teeth by using your thumb and use your index fingers to clean your bottom teeth. However, you can use any finger that makes you comfortable. 

Step 5: Most people prefer to start in the middle. Nonetheless, you can start with any tooth you feel comfortable with.

Once you have fixed on an area, try to manoeuvre the floss gently between your teeth and gum by utilizing a snaky motion.

Try to do this gently, otherwise, you could end up hurting your gums and cause bleeding.

Step 6:Whilemanoeuvringthe floss around the teeth and the gum line, make a pattern resembling the letter “C” with the floss. Now use a back and forth motion against the surface of the teeth to remove the plaque and other substances. Then floss the rear side of your teeth. 

Step 7: Repeat the process between each tooth.

Step 8: Finally, rinse your mouth with water.

Advantages of Dental Floss

Effective with the plaque: The flexibility of the traditional floss allows you to scrape off plaque more effectively and prevents it from turning into tartar.

Inexpensive: Conventional floss is wallet-friendly as it won't cost you more than a few bucks.

In fact, it is the most cost-friendly way to maintain your oral health and protect yourself from dental diseases. 

Disadvantages of Dental Floss

Can’t reach certain areas: It is not possible to reach all the areas of your mouth with string floss, especially when you have smaller spaces between your teeth.

Can cause gum bleeding: Flossing too far down under the gumline may exacerbate the problem and cause your gum to bleed.

The Water Flosser

The water flosser is a device which directs a pulsating stream of water at and between your teeth to remove food particles and other substances that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.

It offers a fun and easy way to clean our mouth and has become a quite popular alternative to the dental floss.

How to Use the Water Flosser

By following these steps, you can easily clean your mouth with the oral irrigator.

Step 1: First fill the water reservoir with lukewarm water

Step 2: Select a tip that suits you, and place it into the handle

Step 3: Then lean over the sink so that it doesn’t splash water on the countertop. Afterwards, put the tip in your mouth and turn the unit on.

Step 4: You will find a dial or on-button on the water flosser to adjust the water pressure. If you are a beginner set the pressure at the lowest.

Step 5: Start flossing with the back teeth on the top and direct the flow of the water at the root of the teeth. Then go tooth by tooth to make sure that every tooth is covered.

Step 6: Having finished the process, rinse your mouth with water.

The entire process should take less than 2 minutes.

Advantages of Water Flosser

Suitable for sensitive gums: People with sensitive gum will find water flosser extremely convenient as it’s very gentle and doesn’t hurt like traditional floss.

Dexterity problems: Individuals who aren't dexterous enough often struggle with manoeuvring dental floss in their mouth. In that case, water floss can be a great alternative to the string floss.

Braces: People with braces can easily remove dental debris and food particles from their teeth by using a water flosser.

Has access to hard-to-reach areas:With the oral irrigator, you can reach the most difficult of places in your mouth and dislodge food remnants with remarkable ease.

Disadvantages of Water Flosser

Expensive: It’s way more expensive than the dental floss. However, you can see this as an investment. If you buy a quality water flosser, then it will save you a lot of money over time.

Needs space (countertop):  Countertop water flosser models take up a lot of space. In fact, you may need to relocate a few things to accommodate the flossing appliance.

Which one is better?

You have to take factors such as price, time, and efficiency into consideration before coming to a conclusion.  So, here are a few things you should consider before making a purchase-

Price

A water flosser is way more expensive than a conventional floss and may cost you anywhere between 30$-70$.

But water flosser will last longer and over time may prove more economical than the dental floss.

In short, although string floss has an edge over water flosser in terms of price, oral irrigators are more durable, and thus, should prove a better investment in the long run.

Ease of use

Although dental floss is by no means difficult to use, water flosser is comparatively easier and convenient to operate.

For you are required to have a certain amount of dexterity to use the string floss, otherwise, you could hurt yourself and cause your gums to bleed.

In contrast, water floss is incredibly easy to use and won't cause you an injury.

Portability

When it comes to portability, string floss is much more convenient than its counterpart.For String floss virtually takes up no space and can be found in any pharmacy.

In contrast, the countertop water flosser models are hardly portable and the cordless ones need electricity.

Time

If time is of the essence to you, then you should choose water flosser over the dental floss.For if you are not a skilled flosser, then it can take you a while to floss with the conventional floss.

On the other hand, with the water flosser, you can purge your mouth of germs within a couple of minutes.

Effectiveness

Both of them are quite efficient at combating plaque and preventing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Nonetheless, there's a lot of debate regarding which is more effective. And here's my take-

1. Water flosser is better at removing plaque and food particles in areas where the traditional floss has no access.

2. Dental floss is, however, more effective at 'spot cleaning' plaque, since it scrubs the plaque, whereas water flosser is only able to rinse out the plaque.

Several studies have been conducted on both dental floss and water flosser. And the results of the studies are-

Oral irrigators are 29% more efficient in dislodging plaque than string floss.

Water flossers are 51% more effective at combating gingivitis.

Water flossers are two times more effective at reducing gum bleeding.

Finally, Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to picking one over other, it completely depends on your preferences.

Some individuals like the control dental floss offer, while others rave about how easy and comfortable water flossers are.

So, ultimately, it’s you again who has to make the decision. Pick wisely!

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