Water Flossing vs. Traditional Flossing
Flossing is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and your smile white and bright. Flossing can help you to loosen and remove plaque buildup between your teeth and in those hard to reach areas. It also works to help loosen food debris that may otherwise be stuck between your teeth. That tiny piece of popcorn kernel or that miniscule piece of spinach from today’s lunch may seem like it won’t be too much of an issue today. Left in place, however, that small piece of food can very quickly turn into a feeding ground for unhealthy bacteria, and potentially lead to infection.
You know you need to floss, but do you know the differences between water flossing vs. traditional flossing? Which one is best, and which one is best for you?
Taking a Look at Traditional Flossing
When it comes to water flossing vs. traditional flossing, the traditional flossing is what most folks will be more familiar with. Whether using a floss pick or the tear-off floss, the process is the same. The floss, often wax coated to help it glide between teeth, and minty flavored, is slid up and down between each of your teeth. A clean section of floss should be used to clean each tooth. This will ensure you’re not just simply jamming that piece of popcorn kernel between another tooth as you go.
The simple up and down motion of the floss will jostle loose that food debris. It will also help to loosen up the plaque that might already be forming between your teeth.
Traditional Flossing Ups and Downs
There are a number of benefits and potential downsides to the traditional flossing method.
Perhaps the most important benefit to consider is the cost and the convenience of the traditional floss method. When you consider water flossing vs. traditional flossing, you may be concerned about how much water flossing equipment can cost. Traditional floss is affordable, and widely available anywhere that you can buy dental products.
You can keep dental floss or floss picks in your purse, in your car, or even in your desk at work. This ensures that you’ll always have the ability to clean between those pearly whites, no matter where your day may take you.
Those who have dexterity concerns may find that traditional flossing is something of a challenge. Arthritis is definitely a factor to consider, and you’ll find that water flossing can work as a great alternative when there are medical concerns.
Some of those potential downsides to traditional flossing will definitely be a factor for those who have braces. Braces can make it near impossible for you to floss between each of your teeth. Forcing the dental floss or floss pick could possible result in a snag on the braces, or even damage your expensive orthodontic gear.
Another factor to consider is that traditional flossing can be somewhat harsh on your gums, particularly if you have sensitive gums or are struggling with gum disease. The last thing that you want to do while trying to maintain your oral health is to cause injury to sensitive gums. It would not take much time for a tender area of your gum to become further inflamed, and then infected.
Taking a Look at Water Flossing
If considering your choice between water flossing vs. traditional flossing, it’s important that you know just how water flossing works. Traditional flossing makes use of that thin filament moved back and forth between your teeth. Water flossing makes use of steady streams of water that work to jostle loose food debris. It will also wash it free from between your teeth, away from your gums, and out of your mouth.
While the stream of water is not overly forceful, it will have enough strength behind it to help you break loose most of the food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
Water flossing is a great way to teach children how to take care of their teeth and gums. Setting them loose with a piece of dental floss could potentially injure their delicate gums. With water flossing they can be in charge of their own oral maintenance, and keep their young teeth as healthy as can be. When considering water flossing vs. traditional flossing, and the needs of children, it’s generally better to go with the option that is least invasive and most effective.
Water Flossing Ups and Downs
The concern with water flossing is that it may not necessarily have the right force or momentum needed to break loose that piece of popcorn kernel that’s stuck between your back teeth. It will definitely work as a solid alternative for those who have braces or sensitive gums. It will help to avoid damage to the braces and of course injury to those sensitive gums.
Another factor to consider is the costs associated with water flossing. It can be budget-friendly, if your dental insurance provides coverage, and there are certainly lower end options on the market that you can consider. The overall costs are going to be considerably higher than a pack of dental floss you can pick up from any of your favorite retailers.
Which is Best?
If you have dental concerns, your dental professional will offer solid advice about which of the flossing methods is better suited to your unique needs. Other factors that you should consider is the convenience of both methods. Certainly water flossing is easy enough, and you can take it along with you when you travel. Traditional flossing gives you much more portability and flexibility in terms of keeping your teeth in tip top shape when you’re on the go. You can easily pop a container of your favorite cinnamon flavored floss into your travel bag, purse, or even pocket when you’re on the move.
Many dental experts will side with traditional flossing as being the most effective way to clean between your teeth. This is simply because the movement of the floss itself will break up, scrub, and better remove plaque and food debris that is otherwise hard to get to with just a toothbrush alone.
Water flossing equipment does often take up more space in your bathroom, so that alone may be a factor if you simply don’t have the space to dedicate to it.
Ultimately there is no one right choice between water flossing vs. traditional flossing. Consider the advice from your dental professional, ensure that you are keeping up with your routine dental visits and professional cleanings, and take into consideration any other concerns that you may have related to the overall health of your teeth and gums. Of course, there’s nothing saying that you can’t integrate both cleaning methods into your oral health routine. Weigh the benefits and convenience of each, and determine which will work best for your needs.