Waterpik vs. Flossing: Can a Water Flosser Replace String Floss?

waterpik vs flossing - older man watching sunset

Waterpik vs. Flossing: Can a Water Flosser Replace String Floss?

Regularly flossing your teeth is essential in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease. It is a fact that using string floss as directed by your dental professional is your best home tool for removing sticky plaque from the sides of your teeth and just under the gums along the root. If you have limited mobility, however, you may be wondering whether a Waterpik can replace traditional flossing. 

At Dr. Saba and Associates, we can help you select the best dental tools for your personal needs. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a Waterpik vs. regular flossing so you can determine which option is right for you.  

What Is a Waterpik?

A Waterpik is a type of dental tool called a water flosser. It uses a stream of pressurized water to clean your mouth. The stream helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along your gum line. The name “Waterpik” is actually a brand of water flosser, but people often use the term to refer to any water flosser. 

Waterpik Pros and Cons

Waterpik Pros

Waterpiks are very easy to use—you just fill up the reservoir with water, place the cleaning tip in your mouth, then turn it on. Make sure you point the stream of water at your gum line to ensure that you are effectively removing bacteria from the areas of your mouth your toothbrush can’t reach. 

Because Waterpiks are easier to control than string floss, they’re perfect for people with arthritis or other mobility issues. They’re also a good choice for keeping your gums clean and healthy if you wear dentures, since oral care is still important even when you’re missing teeth. They can even massage your gums to improve circulation, which helps your gums receive healthy, nutrient-rich blood flow to help fight gum disease. 

Waterpik Cons

Although Waterpiks can wash food particles and debris from your teeth and gums, they won’t remove sticky plaque. If you are unable to use string floss, and have a high risk of gum disease, you may need to visit your dentist every three to four months for professional cleanings to ensure that your mouth stays healthy. 

Does a Waterpik Replace Regular Flossing?

Because string floss is the most effective way to remove plaque, a Waterpik can’t entirely replace flossing. However, using a Waterpik is significantly better than not flossing at all, so it’s still a good alternative if you are unable to control string floss. If you do use string floss, it can also be beneficial to use a Waterpik after flossing to remove the loosened plaque and clean your mouth more thoroughly. 

Teeth Cleaning in Sun Lakes, Arizona

Whichever method of flossing you choose, you still need regular preventative care from a dentist to keep gum disease at bay. Drs. Saba and Romanin help seniors in Sun Lakes maintain healthy teeth and gums with professional cleanings and other preventative services. We can let you know whether a Waterpik vs. traditional flossing is the right choice for you. Give us a call at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/12/2022). Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash