Taking the best care of your teeth essentially involves three major activities. We all know that we should see dental professionals regularly for dental check-ups and cleanings. On a daily basis, we should brush our teeth at least twice every day.
Flossing your teeth is also a daily practice that is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).1
Flossing, however, is something most people don’t like to do for any number of reasons, from it being a messy activity to it requiring a lot of manual dexterity to correctly navigate between tightly spaced teeth. In recent years, water flossing devices have gained in popularity as they have also decreased in price. While string floss is inexpensive compared to buying a water flossing device, there are a number of benefits to water flossing.
Water flossing is done with a device which shoots a stream of water at your teeth to eliminate food particles. If food particles are left on your teeth, they can cause plaque build-up leading to cavities, as well as gingivitis or inflammation of the gums.
There are three main types of water flossing devices. Countertop water flossers provide the most pressure settings, largest water reservoirs and generally have advanced features such as 6 to 10 pressure settings and whitening capabilities. The Water Pik website list these units as costing from $60 to $140.2
The second type of water flossing device is a cordless water flosser. These units come with either a rechargeable battery or require replaceable batteries. Cordless water flossers have a much smaller water reservoir, which is usually built into the handle. Because they are more compact and lighter they have slightly lower water pressure than a countertop water flosser. Cordless water flossers range in price from $40 to $100 and are convenient for travelers or for those who have limited counter space in their bathrooms.
The third type of water flosser is a flossing toothbrush. Water Pik, Inc., the company that pioneered water flossers, and whose name became synonymous with water flossers, introduced the world’s first flossing toothbrush in May 2018. The Sonic-Fusion, which has the ADA Seal of Acceptance, combines an advanced sonic electric toothbrush with a build-in water flosser and retails from $170 to $200. Besides WaterPik devices, Phillips Sonicare AirFloss devices have also received the ADA Seal of Acceptance.3
On the practical side, most people that floss using string don’t do it correctly. As you clean between each tooth, you should do so with a clean piece of floss and with the proper form, which includes making a “C” shape as you wrap the floss around each tooth. Technique is a major advantage of a water flosser, as you simply have to direct the flow of water toward your teeth.
With the water flosser there is also little chance of accidentally cutting your gum and making it bleed, as often happens with string floss. Water flossers are much easier to use for those with braces and other orthodontics and also reach hard to clean areas on dental implants as well as crowns, bridges and veneers.
Clinically, using a water flosser has been shown to be quite advantageous. Waterpik states that their products are clinically proven to remove up to 99.9 percent of plaque from treated areas.4 Further they claim that their product is up to two times as effective for implants as string floss; up to three times as effective for braces vs. string floss; and up to 50 percent more effective for gum health vs. string floss. In an article published in RDH, the magazine for registered dental hygienists, Carol Jahn, RDH, MS, the senior professional relations manager for Water Pik, Inc., cited 10 reasons for recommending that patients use a Waterpik Water Flosser.5 They include:
1. A reduction in periodontal infection
2. A reduction in inflammation
3. Improved oral health for those with diabetes
4. Improved oral health for those with implants
5. Improved oral health for those with orthodontic appliances
6. Improved tooth pocket cleaning, as water flosser penetrate deeper than manual flossing
7. Better plaque removal than manual flossing
8. Ease of use over manual flossing
9. Water flossers are a clinically proven effective alternative to string floss.
10. The effectiveness of the water flosser is evidence based, meaning that more than 50 evaluations of water flossers have been conducted since they were introduced in 1962.
If you are not performing manual flossing on a daily basis, a water flosser is a good alternative, as studies have shown that people who own water flossers have a tendency to use them on a daily basis. For a minimal investment of $40, you can add one more powerful tool to your daily oral health improvement routine.
Our dental office in Commerce MI strives for optimal dental health for each patient. Flossing your teeth, whether its with string floss or water is highly recommended along with twice daily brushing and regular dental checkups.
The advantage of regular dental visits includes the potential detection of serious problems. Further, maintaining your oral health helps to limit the need for dental treatments such as dental crowns, dentures, bridges, and fillings. It is the goal of Dr. Sedki to help patients keep and maintain their natural teeth and offers dental care to patients of all ages. Call today for and appointment and Free dental evaluation!
1 Flossing, American Dental Association, www.MouthHealthy.org
2 Countertop Water Flossers, www.waterpik.com
3 Powered Interdental Cleaners, American Dental Association
4 Why Choose Waterpik?, www.waterpik.com
5 A Top 10 List for Water Flossing, www.rdhmag.com, Carol Jahn, RDH, MS, 2/1/2012