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Water Flossing vs. String Flossing

A water floss next to a blue container of string dental floss

Both regular dental floss and water flossers can remove plaque and food debris from areas in and around the gums and between the teeth that are hard to clean with only a toothbrush. Water flossing has become more popular over the years, with brands like Waterpik® selling affordable and easy-to-use water flossers for home use. This has some patients wondering: is water flossing better than traditional flossing?

Pros & Cons of a Water Flosser

Water flossers use a steady stream of water that effectively reaches between the teeth and under the gumline. They can be especially helpful for patients who have metal or ceramic braces or a bridge that requires special attention during their oral care routine. They can also work well for patients who have arthritis or otherwise struggle manipulating regular dental floss.

String floss is simple, easily portable in your bag, and inexpensive. But unlike string floss, a water flosser can be reused for several years with proper care and cleaning. However, it is much bigger than a spool of dental floss. It can be cumbersome to travel with and requires counter space, electricity, and sufficient clean water. Because there is a bit of learning curve with a water flosser, you can expect to spray water on your bathroom counter, mirror, and even on your clothes until you get the hang of it.

Which Is Better?

In conjunction with daily brushing, routine dental visits, and a balanced diet, flossing will help you achieve and maintain positive oral health. We recommend using a combination of water flossing and string flossing for optimal gum health and cleaning power. But at the end of the day, the right kind of flossing for your smile is one that you can stick to every day.

More Oral Hygiene Questions?

At CarolinasDentist, we emphasize preventive oral care at home and while you’re here at the dentist. Please contact your closest CarolinasDentist location with any additional questions about your oral hygiene routine.

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