Many people look at flossing as an unnecessary addition to their oral hygiene routine. While this practice may seem inessential, don’t be fooled: Flossing is a crucial part of maintaining the health of your smile. Flossing is responsible for about 40% of tooth cleaning and is able to reach areas your toothbrush simply can’t access. When you skip flossing, you’re leaving at least 2 of your teeth’s 5 surfaces dirty, resulting in plaque buildup and eventual tooth decay. The 2 most popular methods of flossing, traditional flossing and flossing with a water pik, are highly effective and offer distinct advantages to suit your specific needs. Below we break down the pros and cons of water piks and floss and help you decide which device is better suited to accompany you on your healthy smile journey.
Flossing involves threading nylon string between teeth to remove bacteria and food particles.
One of the key benefits of floss is its efficiency. Floss allows you to effectively reach each row of teeth and provides more control than other cleaning methods. Floss is also more accessible. Unlike water piks, which can prove costly, floss is incredibly cheap and can be used in your home or on the go to cover all your post-meal cleaning needs.
While floss is more versatile, it’s not as gentle on your gums and can cause bleeding, irritation and sensitivity. Flossing also requires a certain amount of dexterity and may not be a fit for elderly people with arthritis or little kids who lack the necessary coordination.
Water piks fire a stream of pressurized water to remove food particles and bacteria.
Water piks are more effective at maneuvering through crowded teeth, cleaning tight spaces and flushing out plaque. In addition, water piks are the better option for orthodontics patients, as threading traditional floss between wiring and brackets can be rather difficult . Water piks even help massage the gums, promoting good oral health, and provide a gentler touch than floss.
Water piks are less effective at removing plaque and bacteria from teeth. They’re also expensive and less versatile than traditional floss. While floss can easily be stored in your pocket, water piks require access to a sink and electricity, making it difficult to achieve a proper cleaning outside of the home.
We suggest you try them both! Feel free to schedule a consultation at Pearly Whites to discuss the best method for you!