Waterpiking vs. Flossing

February 27, 2020
Avatar for Raul GarciaRaul Garcia

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We’ve all heard the American Dental Association recommendations to brush our teeth twice a day and floss daily. But for some people, this is easier said than done. That’s because for many people, flossing isn’t always practical – or possible.

For starters, flossing often requires reaching and contorting into the mouth in ways that some people are incapable of doing without great difficulty. People with arthritis or with motor skill issues can find flossing especially challenging.

For others, flossing may not be physically challenging, but it may be painful and cause bleeding or discomfort to the gums, even if the patient is a regular flosser.

Finally, for some patients, flossing just doesn’t feel as clean as it could be, and for those patients another method of cleaning between the teeth is a better option. This is where water flossing, or “waterpiking,” comes into the picture.

Since 1962, oral irrigators like the Waterpik device have been in consumer households, helping patients clean between their teeth. Oral irrigators work like dental floss by using a pressurized stream of water to blast away debris from between and around the teeth.

Water flossers are great for patients with braces because they can not only reach between the teeth, but they can also rinse off the braces brackets and remove any debris clinging to the braces better than simply rinsing out the mouth.

But many people still wonder: Is using a water flosser better than or as good as using traditional dental floss?

In a word, yes. Water flossing can be just as effective as flossing if that’s your preference, because if you are more likely to use the water flosser than traditional dental floss, you are doing a better job cleaning your teeth than you would be had you opted to simply not floss at all. While string floss is still the gold standard in flossing, the water flosser or oral irrigator is still a safe, highly effective means for cleaning your teeth. Best of all, it is easy to use for persons with mobility issues and gum sensitivity.

If you are unsure about which type of floss to use – whether it be string floss or an oral irrigator appliance – please speak to Dr. Garcia about your individual needs. To discuss your oral health or schedule an appointment, please call (305) 595-4616.

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