30 October 2023
Regular flossing is an essential component of your dental care routine. However, did you know that standard dental floss is not the only tool you can use to clean the areas of your mouth that brushing fails to reach?
One such example of an alternative flossing tool is an item known as a floss water pick or a water flosser. In this guide, we explain what a floss water pick is along with the advantages and disadvantages of water flossing so that you can understand the best flossing approach for you.
Water Flosser Definition
A water flosser is a hand-held tool that uses water to help you clean your teeth. Water flossers produce a jet of water that is strong enough to remove food particles from between your teeth and your gum line the same way that a regular spool of dental floss would.
That simple definition seems to imply that there is not much difference in the effectiveness between a water flosser and other flossing methods. However, the reality is that there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to choosing a floss water pick as your flossing tool of choice.
Advantages of a Water Flosser
One of the greatest benefits of choosing a water flosser is that they are incredibly easy to use. For anyone who lacks dexterity in their hands for whatever reason, using dental floss can be a frustrating experience. By contrast, water flossers do not require you to unspool and manipulate lengths of floss. Instead, they are a simple hand-held tool that has a button you can press to activate the water stream.
In keeping with the theme of ease of use, water flossers can be the perfect option for those who have braces or other pieces of dental equipment in their mouth that make flossing difficult. Rather than attempting to move floss through the tight gaps in your braces, you can rely on the water stream from your water flosser to remove any bits of food stuck in your braces or your teeth.
Lastly, for those with sensitive gums, regular flossing is not only a nuisance but it can also be a painful experience. In such cases, using regular floss can often lead to unnecessary bleeding. In contrast, the gentle yet effective stream of water that exits a water flosser is highly unlikely to cause any gum bleeding or pain.
Disadvantages of a Water Flosser
The first and most obvious disadvantage of water flossers is that they are a more expensive option than regular dental floss. In nearly every instance, buying a floss water pick will cost you far more than if you were to opt for a traditional spool of floss.
Additionally, some argue that water flossers are not as effective for removing plaque as regular dental floss. While the gentle stream a water flosser produces is great for protecting sensitive gums, it may not always be capable of removing pesky bits of plaque that stick to your teeth. On the other hand, standard floss is often more capable of removing plaque, even though that can lead to more gum bleeding.
The final disadvantage of a water flosser is that using one can be somewhat messy. The water jet that comes out of your water flosser can is not guaranteed to stay in your mouth. Instead, it can splash and land on your mirror or bathroom counter, which leaves you with a mess to take care of.
Water Flosser Alternatives
The most obvious flossing option is standard dental floss. Although standard dental floss can be somewhat difficult to use for some and can cause gum bleeding in some cases, it remains one of the most reliable flossing options around.
If you are uninterested in using either standard floss or a water flosser, then you should also know about floss picks. Floss picks consist of a handle and a component that holds a length of floss. You can use this tool to easily remove food from between your teeth. Floss picks are also a great option for travel as they are lightweight and easy to carry and use.
When to Use a Water Flosser
Knowing what a water flosser is and its pros and cons is not enough to keep your mouth as clean as can be. Instead, you also need to learn when to use your water flosser.
Generally, you should floss every time you brush your teeth, and brushing should occur at least twice per day. Since your brush cannot reach all the spaces between your teeth, some form of flossing is necessary each time you brush. As such, you should use your water flosser once to twice a day.
Learn More About Dental Hygiene
Although this article provides just about everything you need to know about what a floss water pick is and what makes this tool useful, there is much more that you need to learn about dental hygiene if you want to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
The best way to support the health of your teeth and gums is by consulting a dental professional that you can trust. At Smile Venue Dental, we are ready to answer any of the questions you might have about caring for your dental health. Reach out to us today to learn more.