Dental Guides

Avoiding Gum Stress: Adding a Water Flosser to Your Collection Will Save You Money and Time, as Well as Providing a Safe Alternative for Your Gums

Do you forget to floss sometimes? You’re not alone. Studies show that just half of Americans floss daily, and about 18 percent don’t floss at all. But, whether you do it or not, flossing is an essential aspect of oral hygiene. It’s the only practical way to clean the spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Dental floss is the most common flossing tool in the world, but it’s not the only option. Some people swear by something called a water flosser, and as you’ll soon learn, this device has some pretty convincing advantages.

What Is a Water Flosser?

A water flosser - also called a water pick - is a cleaning device that shoots a stream of water, which when aimed between your teeth or at your gum line can remove food particles, foreign objects, and plaque. A water flosser must be plugged into a power outlet, and it requires a reservoir of water, which makes it far less portable than floss. On the other hand, it is gentle on gums, and because it is not a mechanical tool, it is significantly easier to use.

Why Should You Use a Water Flosser?

Dental floss is a remarkably effective tool for cleaning between teeth, but it has several notable downsides. For starters, mechanical flossing can irritate gums and occasionally cause bleeding. Users with sensitive gums or gum disease often find it unusable for regular flossing. Dental floss is also impractical if you’re wearing dental prosthetics like bridges, braces, and partials, and can even do more harm than good.

If for one reason or another, floss doesn’t work for you, a water flosser can be an excellent alternative. A water pick will save you the hassle of having to position your hands at different angles in your mouth to clean every space, and can, therefore, come in handy when you want a quick floss.

Moreover, the jet of water is easy on your gums, and can also provide a soothing gum massage when you need it. And, if you’re experiencing dry mouth, a water flosser is an easy way to add some moisture and prevent sticky plaque from building up due to dryness.

Lastly, although string floss will be less expensive to buy than a water pick, some of the best water flossers can last for years, which means you won’t incur any flossing expenses for a while. If you’re an active flosser, dental floss will be a regular item on your shopping list.

Using Water Flossers with Dental Floss

When used correctly, a water flosser can be a great addition to your oral hygiene collection. However, most dentists agree that water picks and dental floss work better together than as alternatives. While water flossers are easy and fun to use, floss does a better job at removing plaque by scraping up and down the sides of your teeth, rather than just rinsing it.

Therefore, unless dental floss just isn’t an option for you, having both tools will go a long way to helping you achieve long-term oral health.

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