A beautiful, healthy smile is more than just good looks, it’s hard work! If dental and gum health is important to you, you’re probably interested in the best and most efficient ways to maintain good oral hygiene. With all the new technology and gadgets out there, which ones are worth your investment? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of Waterpik vs. floss to help you decide whether to make the investment in another dental tool or stick with traditional floss.
What is Waterpik?
Waterpik is a special dental tool that uses a pressurized stream of water to clean the teeth, especially difficult to reach areas such as between the teeth and along the gum line. Waterpik was invented in 1962 by a dentist in Colorado, so it’s been around for a while, although it is a more recently popular invention compared to floss.
Dental hygienists use a similar tool when performing professional dental cleanings because it can be more comfortable, especially along the gum line, than other metal scraping tools for removing plaque and tartar.
The Importance of Flossing
Of course, brushing daily after meals is important, but brushing alone only reaches approximately 60% of the surface of your teeth, so flossing is 40% of cleaning your teeth. Whether you choose to opt to invest in a Waterpik or use traditional floss, flossing daily is an important step to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
For Braces, Dental Appliances and Special Needs
If you have braces, a bridge, permanent retainer or other dental appliance and are trying to decide between Waterpik vs. floss, Waterpik can help to make cleaning around dental appliances much easier. Because it’s a pressurized stream of water, you don’t need to thread it through spaces like you do with traditional floss, eliminating the issue of shredding and potentially saving a lot of time. It can also be used to clean areas on the surface of the teeth or appliance such as the brackets of braces or permanent retainers where bacteria and plaque tends to accumulate.
Another advantage of Waterpik is that it can be easier to use for those with arthritis or other conditions that affect the grip or coordination of the hands. The Waterpik tool is a lot larger and can be easier to grip and control than a small strand of floss.
Advantages of Traditional Floss
There are still areas of your teeth, such as between your back molars, that are going to be easier to clean thoroughly with traditional floss rather than a Waterpik because the floss can slide into places that even a pressurized stream of water may not reach.
When deciding between Waterpik vs. floss, it’s important to consult with your dentist to gain a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of each tool for your specific situation and which may be best suited for the different areas of your mouth or dental appliances.
Call our Helotes Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.