Good oral hygiene can help prevent cavities and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. While the American Dental Association recommends that you floss your teeth once a day to remove bacteria and food particles, only 14% of Americans floss daily. Some people, including many Hendricks County residents, don’t like to floss their teeth manually. If you’re one of these people, water flossing may be an option for you. A water-flossing device uses a high-pressure stream of water to remove food particles from between your teeth and rinse bacteria off of your teeth. For the best cleaning, you aim the water between your teeth, working from your back teeth to your front teeth.
Pros of Water Flossing
Some of the benefits of water flossing are:
- It’s easier to handle, especially for Hendricks County residents who have trouble grasping and maneuvering string floss.
- It’s gentle on sensitive gums. Studies show that when water flossing is used with a manual or power toothbrush, it’s 93% more effective at reducing gum bleeding than a toothbrush and string floss.
- It’s better at reducing gingivitis by 52% compared to manual flossing. If you have gum disease, water flossing is better than manual flossing at flushing out bacteria from deep pockets in the gums.
- It’s better at removing food particles and bacteria from your teeth if you wear braces or permanent bridges. It’s difficult to reach the areas behind the metal wires with string floss, but a high-powered stream of water can more easily reach those areas.
Cons of Water Flossing
Studies vary when it comes to definitive proof that water flossing removes plaque as effectively as string floss. Some studies have shown that it can be very effective at removing biofilm – a thin, slimy film of bacteria that adheres to the teeth. However, other studies say water flossing only rinses the bacteria off of the teeth, and it can’t really scrape the bacteria off as effectively as string floss.
Should You Water Floss?
If you have manual dexterity problems or sensitive gums, or if you wear braces or bridges, water flossing is likely a better option for you. If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t like to use manual floss, then give water flossing a try. It’s better to water floss than not floss at all. If you really want to be extra diligent about your oral hygiene, you may want to consider using both string floss and water flossing. The string floss will loosen the plaque, while water flossing will wash it away. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to visit Danville Family Dentistry regularly for a thorough dental cleaning to remove hardened and hard-to-reach plaque. Contact our Hendricks County office at 317-745-4400 to make your appointment.