For many years the only way to clean the small spaces between teeth and below the gum line was with dental floss. The advent of water flossers has been overwhelmingly positive for oral health, making it easier and quicker for you to keep your teeth and gums plaque-free. But do they really work? Today we are going to answer the question ‘is water flosser effective’ so you can take better care of your dental hygiene.
The Importance Of Plaque Removal
Plaque is a sticky substance that covers the surfaces of your mouth throughout the day and night.
Your job, through brushing and flossing twice a day, is to keep the plaque under control and remove it before it can calcify and turn into tartar.
Plaque is very acidic, and its acids are what cause your tooth enamel to weaken and allow bacteria inside to cause cavities.
A buildup of plaque below your gum line contributes to the development of gum disease. Removing plaque is essential for good oral health: for healthy teeth and gums that are free of gum disease.
What Is A Water Flosser?
Also known as a Waterpik, a water flosser is an oral irrigator that makes use of jets of water to clean debris, trapped food and plaque from below the gum line and between the teeth. These are spaces that are too small for a toothbrush to clean, but they do need to be kept clean in order to benefit your oral health.
Is Water Flosser Effective For Plaque Removal?
Water flossers are effective for removing plaque according to an article in the Dentistry Journal, which conducted a comparative overview of different interdental cleaning aids. Water flossers can clean the small spaces that your toothbrush can’t access in a less abrasive way than string floss.
Is Water Flosser Effective For Managing Gum Disease?
Water flossers appear to be the most effective way for patients to keep gum disease under control. While there is no cure for periodontitis or advanced gum disease, it can be kept under control with strict dental hygiene practices. A water flosser is especially beneficial for patients who have periodontal pockets, as it can clean out trapped bacteria more effectively than string floss.
Water flossers have also been shown to be effective at managing the inflammation associated with gum disease. By contrast, string floss can cause irritation or bleeding in the gums, which may be particularly uncomfortable for patients who have sensitive gums due to gingivitis.
Is Water Flosser Effective For People With Arthritis?
String floss is particularly difficult to use and if you aren’t doing it correctly, you aren’t removing plaque. If you have arthritis or any condition that interferes with the mobility of your hands, using a water flosser is easier and more comfortable.
String floss needs to be maneuvered carefully around each tooth, in the shape of the letter C, but if it is painful or not possible to do it, a water flosser is an effective alternative for your oral health.
Is Water Flosser Effective For Cleaning Dental Restorations?
If you have lost a tooth due to decay, you probably understand the importance of sound oral health. And if you have a dental crown or dental bridge it’s even more important that your oral health is flawless, because you need to avoid further decay to your restored teeth. Using a water flosser gives you peace of mind that you are cleaning your teeth with precision, reducing your risk of further decay, which can weaken the effectiveness of your restorations.
Similarly, patients who wear orthodontic braces face quite a challenge when it comes to maintaining their oral health. Because they have wires and brackets on their teeth, it’s much easier for debris and food to get trapped. The braces themselves also create more spaces for plaque to accumulate. But unfortunately brushing and flossing while wearing braces is more difficult than brushing natural teeth without orthodontics.
Using a water flosser for orthodontic braces means you can clean thoroughly around the wires and brackets and then rinse any plaque and debris away with the jets of water.
What Are The General Benefits Of Water Flossers?
Water flossers are beneficial for patients with specific dental or physical needs, but they are also helpful to everyone because:
They speed up taking care of oral health
Using technology to make the process of cleaning your teeth makes sense. It’s quicker and easier to use water flossers, and they take the margin for human error out of the equation.
Water flossers are great for kids to learn about oral health
Teaching young children to floss is a challenge and if they aren’t doing it right, it can compromise their overall dental health.
Using Waterpik makes the lessons much less stressful for the parents and more enjoyable for your child.
It’s also a natural progression from using an electric toothbrush, which can be lots of fun for kids.
Waterpiks are gentler on gums
You don’t need to have sensitive gums for string floss to be abrasive – if you’ve ever used it incorrectly, you’ve probably felt some discomfort using dental floss. Water jets are much gentler on your gum tissue and won’t cause irritation or abrasion. They also do a very thorough job at cleaning between teeth and below the gum line and even so, you won’t experience bleeding gums after using a Waterpik.
If you are concerned about a Waterpik’s ability to remove plaque, you don’t have to throw your string floss away. If it makes you feel better, you can try both for peace of mind.
Should You Consider A Water Flosser?
An Overview of Different Interdental Cleaning Aids and Their Effectiveness
What Is a Waterpik?