Having healthy gums and teeth is important for your health overall. Brushing your teeth helps remove food particles from your tooth surfaces, but toothbrushes aren’t always able to reach between teeth to clean these areas. Flossing your teeth on a regular basis is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine since it helps remove food particles from between your teeth. Daily flossing helps you maintain healthy gums and lowers the risk of gum disease, but should you use water flossing or string floss? Knowing more about each type of floss can help you make that decision.
Traditional string flossing involves the use of a dental floss to get rid of food particles and plaque that allows tartar to form on your teeth, between your teeth, and under your gum line. Your toothbrush can’t fully reach certain areas, such as between your teeth, so you’ll need to rely on floss to clean them. Using string floss involves moving a length of this floss between your teeth and around the edges of your teeth in a curved motion. This type of floss is thin enough to fit in these tight areas while also removing plaque.
Traditional string floss can be a highly effective way to get rid of plaque, but it has its limitations. In order for string floss to work, flossing must be done the correct way. This involves curving around the teeth while using zig-zag movements to scrape plaque off your teeth and between them. Moving string floss up and down between teeth, for example, won’t be effective at removing plaque.
When using string floss, it’s also important to switch to a clean section for every tooth. Otherwise, you’re just moving plaque and debris around from tooth to tooth instead of eliminating it.
For some people, such as those with sensitive gums, string floss can be uncomfortable to use. However, this type of floss comes in forms that are more gentle on gums, such as waxed string floss. Using this type of floss can offer more comfortable flossing compared to unwaxed string floss.
Water flossing provides a convenient and easy way to clean your teeth and gums. This type of flossing has become more popular, since it’s simple to use and offers a hands-off approach to flossing. A water flosser sends a pressurized stream of water between your teeth. All you have to do is hold this device and aim it at the areas you’re cleaning. This helps get rid of bigger food particles from between your teeth and gum line, but it’s not usually effective at removing smaller particles and visible plaque.
Water flossing can offer a more pleasant way to floss your teeth if you have sensitive gums. This type of flossing can also lower the risk of gum line bleeding. When you use a water flosser, you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re using the correct technique and switching to different sections of floss as you would with string floss. Holding a water flosser rather than carefully holding string floss and moving it the right way might also be more comfortable if you have trouble with dexterity. For example, you might have an easier time aiming a water flosser instead of winding floss around your fingers and making curved or zig-zag motions with it for each tooth.
Which type of floss is better overall? According to the Mayo Clinic, water flossing doesn’t provide enough thorough cleaning power compared to string flossing. A water flosser isn’t as effective at removing smaller particles of debris and plaque from between your teeth as string floss, so water flossing can’t fully replace string flossing. Keep this in mind when deciding which type of floss to use on your teeth.
Flossing should be part of your everyday routine in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Whether you end up using string floss or a water flosser, you should also brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing help reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems. For optimal oral health, make sure you have dental check-ups done twice a year. During these appointments, dentists can clean your teeth thoroughly and check your teeth and gums for signs of dental problems.
If you need help deciding which floss is best for you, please consult with your dentist. If it’s time for a dental check-up, contact Cedar Walk Dentistry to set up an appointment. Our dentist can check your teeth and gums and provide you with advice on which floss to use for healthy gums and teeth.