WaterPik Water Flosser vs Regular Floss – How does it compare?
We all know how important it is to take care of our teeth.
That said, for most of us, keeping our teeth clean and healthy is a chore.
Flossing is certainly the toughest part of the dental hygiene process, yet tons of evidence shows how vital flossing is.
Some people find using a water flosser or oral irrigator like the Waterpik to be an easier alternative to flossing. Is the Waterpik really a suitable option?
What is a Water Flosser?
A water flosser like the Waterpik uses a pulsating stream of pressurized water to clean away food particles between the teeth. Essentially, the water acts as floss.
An oral irrigator is often recommended as an alternative to string floss that is just as effective. See our top 10 list of the best water flossers to compare the best options on the market.
Are oral irrigators like the Waterpik really as effective as floss?
There have been a number of studies done to evaluate the effectiveness of water flossers.
One study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that “oral irrigation is an effective alternative to manual tooth brushing and dental floss for reducing bleeding, gingival inflammation, and plaque removal” and that they are 51% more effective than string floss for reducing gingivitis.
Additionally, many studies point to the superior effectiveness of the water flossers for people with unique needs. For example, the Waterpik can be much better for cleaning around braces or implants. For those with tightly spaced teeth, the Waterpik might lead to less
See this excellent video by Paducah Dental Care on the topic:
For Braces & Implants
They can also be significantly easier to operate than string floss for people with arthritis or other physical challenges.
To remove Plaque
There is some question as to whether a water flosser is as effective as string floss when it comes to removing plaque.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found a water flosser to be 29% more effective than string floss. Others, however, insist that an oral irrigator is incapable of removing plaque as fully as string floss. String
Others, however, insist that an oral irrigator is incapable of removing plaque as fully as string floss.
String Floss scrapes and loosens plaque from the surface of the tooth in a way that pressurized water may not be able to.
Regardless, an oral irrigator is at least somewhat effective at removing plaque and may even do a better job.
The overall verdict is that the Waterpik and similar oral irrigators can certainly help keep your teeth clean and healthy and they may well do a better job than traditional string floss. Ease of use is also a factor.
Because the Waterpik is easier to use, people may be more likely to use it consistently.
A consistent oral hygiene routine is key to keeping teeth and gums healthy over time.
Ease of use is also a factor. Because the Waterpik is easier to use, people may be more likely to use it consistently. A consistent oral hygiene routine is key to keeping teeth and gums healthy over time.
The American Dental Association has given the Waterpik an official seal of approval and calls it “an effective alternative to manual or string floss.”
Should I use floss or a water flosser?
The most important thing is that you use one of them.
Both floss and water flossers can be effective ways to remove food particles and plaque. They can also both prevent more serious problems like gingivitis and cavities.
If you have a special challenge like braces or arthritis or tightly spaced teeth, a Waterpik or similar oral irrigator may be the best option for you.
Some people the combination of a toothbrush (manual or electric) plus both string floss and a Waterpik to be the right set of tools for them.
What’s most important is that you use a combination of brushing and some kind of flossing to keep your teeth and gums as clean and healthy as possible.
Another factor to consider is cost. While the Waterpik and other oral irrigators can be purchased for reasonable prices, string floss is certainly cheaper.