Water Flosser vs. String Floss

It’s no secret that many patients have a hard time flossing every day. Fumbling with a long piece of string to remove food particles may not be your favorite act of self-care. Perhaps you’ve considered switching to a water flosser instead. But are water flossers as effective as traditional flossing?

A blue and white water flosser sits on a bathroom sink in front of a blue and white mosaic wall

The Benefits of Water Flossing

A water flosser (also known as a dental water jet, an oral irrigator, or by the brand name of Waterpik®) is a dental hygiene device for cleaning in between teeth and under the gumline. This gadget utilizes a steady and powerful stream of pressured water to remove food particles and bacteria. While floss needs to be tossed, water flossing leaves no trash. Another benefit of water flossing is that they can easily get to spaces beneath the gumline, all while stimulating circulation in your gums. Plus, it makes flossing pretty fun!

Keep in mind that this form of flossing requires electricity, access to warm water, and counter space. It also requires occasional cleaning and takes up more room in your suitcase when traveling.

Closeup of a woman using string floss to clean between her teeth

The Benefits of Traditional Flossing

Traditional flossing involves between 12-18 inches of string, with which you carefully go in between each tooth in a C-action to remove food particles that can lead to plaque, gum disease, and tooth decay. This form of flossing has been proven to be highly efficient. You’ll notice that at your dental checkup, we use fancy drills and water devices, but we also floss your teeth before you leave. That’s because traditional floss is a simple and effective way to get to hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Another benefit of traditional floss is that it’s portable. You can keep a small roll of dental floss in your purse, pocket, or desk.

The Bottom Line

We encourage you to floss at least once a day in whatever way gets you to floss, since staying consistent is key for superb oral health. But for optimal protection against plaque, decay, cavities, and gum disease, we recommend a combination of water flossing and string flossing to get the best of both worlds. But if you want to just stick with traditional flossing, that’s great too!

Dental Advice in Westwood, KS

Let us know if you have any additional questions about what makes up a healthy daily dental routine. And if it’s time for you to book your next appointment, contact us today.