For the first time ever, the American Dental Association recently gave their seal of approval to a waterpik to be used for dental hygiene. While not everyone is rushing to the store to purchase a waterpik, there is considerable interest and questions about what the pros and cons are for both waterpiks and the traditional flossing method.
Traditional flossing has been around forever, and for good reason. Our toothbrushes just simply can’t get in between all of our teeth to extract the food particles that exist in those crevices. If those food particles stay there, they attract bacteria, which produce acid that eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing decay and advanced periodontal disease if left untreated. Patients should floss once every day and, since floss is relatively cheap, this is an accessible treatment for most patients. However, some patients have trouble accessing parts of their mouth with floss, while others find it cumbersome to use. Traditional floss can also cause significant bleeding if not used on a regular basis.
Waterpiks have many advantages, as well. The pressure of the water cleans the crevices of the teeth by pushing food away and massages the gums at the same time. Waterpiks are generally much easier to use, even with braces, and can reach areas that many struggle to reach with floss. However, waterpiks are much more expensive than a tin of dental floss and require electricity and access to water, making them less mobile and convenient when on the go.
According to Medical News Today, “a study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry compared the efficacy of a water flosser to string floss used in combination with a manual toothbrush. The researchers found that the group who used the waterpik had a 74.4 percent reduction in plaque as compared to a 57.7 percent reduction in the group who used the string floss.”
In the end, the most important thing to remember is that it’s best to floss each and every day to maximize your dental health, whether you use traditional floss, a waterpik, or both, which is, of course, the best answer of all.
If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.