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Dental Background


A Guide To Everything You
Need to Know About Water Flossing


Did you know that according to research only 30% of the population floss daily? A further 37% of the population floss several times a week and the remaining 33% never floss at all? It’s true! Yet, it’s vital for maintaining our oral health.

So while, there are many reasons why people don’t floss their teeth, like:

  • it makes my gums bleed
  • it’s uncomfortable 
  • my teeth aren’t straight enough to floss properly or,
  • I don’t have the time or simply forget

flossing reaches bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth that a normal toothbrush can’t.

For this reason, many people are looking at alternatives to string flossing. One such option is something known as a water flosser.

If you’ve ever stood in a shower and let the blast of water run between your teeth, you’ll know how good it feels. Well, a dental water flosser does exactly the same thing but without having to get naked.  

In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at everything you need to know before buying a water flosser. So without further ado, let’s dive straight in and get started.

A teeth water flosser is often commonly referred to as a ‘Waterpik’, but that’s purely because it’s the most well-known brand on the market. It’s a bit like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover! In fact, there are many different brands of electric water flossers available and can also be referred to as an

  • oral irrigator
  • a waterjet flosser
  • a teeth water flosser 
  • a dental water flosser
  • an electric flosser or
  • a water flosser Pik

Whatever you call it or whatever brand you buy, they’re designed to do the same thing and that’s to eradicate plaque and food particles that build-up in and around the hard to reach areas between the teeth. They do so by blasting jets of water into the crevices to remove debris. Hence the term ‘water flosser’.

Water flossers are very easy to use. Simply ensure the chamber is full of water, plug it in, switch it on and away you go. Place the handheld device close to the teeth and select your favoured power setting. We would recommend starting with a low stream until you get used to it and then gradually ease your way up.

In a word…very! There have been several studies on this subject and one such study demonstrated that when you use an electric toothbrush and water floss together, the results showed that this combination was potentially more effective than brushing with a manual brush and string flossing.

But before you ditch the string flossing altogether, in our opinion, the friction of the string is needed to remove stubborn areas of plaque.

maximising results water flossers castle hill

Water floss vs Manual Floss

In a straight head to head battle – is a water flosser generally better than string flossing?

Some evidence shows that when you water floss it is around 30% more effective at removing plaque than more traditional flossing methods. Even though the sample size in that particular study wasn’t particularly large, it does offer some proof for those considering whether they should string floss or water floss.

But should water flossing replace manual flossing?

As stated in the last section, a quality water flosser should do a good job of removing tiny food particles and visible film that lingers on the teeth. However, it might not effectively remove all traces of plaque and this is why the best results are typically achieved using a combination of a water flosser and manual flossing

If you haven’t flossed for a while or haven’t (up until this point) done it at all, then an electric water flosser provides a gentle introduction to the flossing process.  

A quality water floss machine should have ample flow control allowing you to vary the speed of the water as it hits your gums and teeth. This is particularly good if you have sensitive teeth or gums.

Also, if you have dexterity problems and struggle to floss manually, then an oral irrigator may be the ideal solution. All you need to do is to hold the light handheld device near your teeth and point it in the general direction – the machine will do the rest. 

Other Key Benefits of a Water Flosser

Aside from ease of use, a Waterpik flosser has other key benefits and to explain these we need to talk about braces…

If you wear fixed orthodontic braces you probably know the importance and indeed, the difficulty in keeping your teeth free from food debris. Food can easily become lodged between the brackets and wiring making it difficult to remove with normal brushing and flossing alone. If left, any debris can turn into plaque which, in turn, can cause tooth decay.

Water flossing simplifies this difficult task because the jet of water can be directed into nooks, crannies and crevices where conventional string flossing can reach. In fact, according to one particular study, braces wearers who used an electric water flosser for a month saw a reduction in plaque of up to 3 times less than a control group using conventional brushing and flossing methods.

Flossing should be an important part of your normal daily routine, so with this in mind, some of the signs that you could do with investing in a water flosser are:

  • When you find conventional flossing a challenge – sometimes the string can get stuck between the teeth and won’t come out – This is particularly true with unevenly spaced or crooked teeth
  • Your current orthodontic treatment makes string flossing difficult
  • You simply can’t get on with conventional flossing

If any of these factors prevent you from carrying out proper daily flossing, then you will benefit from a water flosser.

Hopefully, this has given you a valuable introduction to the world of water flossers. If you are interested to find out more, then check out Denfinity for the right oral irrigator for you. Remember, achieving a great oral cleaning routine doesn’t have to be hard, especially when you have the right equipment for the job.

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