Water flossers like the Waterpik are becoming more common among patients who are looking for an easier and faster alternative to traditional flossing. But are Waterpiks as good as regular flossing? Are they even better? Let’s take a look at the facts in this blog from Coronado Dental Associates.
Water flossers like the Waterpik are hand-held devices that create a very thin stream of high-powered water, which blasts away food particles and other debris from between your teeth and gums, acting similarly to dental floss.
They have become much more popular over the past two decades, and have become much more accepted by dentists, many who initially dismissed them when they entered the market. In fact, the Waterpik water flosser earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance in 2017, and is the first water flosser to do so.
So, water flossers like the Waterpik are great, and just as good as regular flossing, right? Well, not quite.
Let’s clear up a misconception. Using a Waterpik is not better than normal flossing. In fact, most dentists consider it to be inferior to flossing with dental floss. A Waterpik cannot offer the same level of cleaning, since the stream of water creates no friction that can loosen hard-to-reach pieces of food and other debris.
Instead, most dentists recommend using a Waterpik as a complement to flossing. For example, you could floss once per day and use your Waterpik after you floss to blast away any debris that was loosened while flossing. Or, you could use a Waterpik in the morning and evening, and floss once per day after lunch.
Using a Waterpik is not better than flossing. But when used with flossing, it helps improve the effectiveness of flossing, and your overall oral health.
This brings us to a related point. Is using a Waterpik better than not flossing at all? The answer, of course, is “yes.” As you know, dentists always recommend that you floss once per day, and for the best oral health, fresh breath, and protection against gum disease, this recommendation stands.
However, if you simply cannot floss or are not willing to learn the proper technique, it’s better to use a Waterpik than to not use anything at all to clean between your teeth. Waterpiks can loosen food particles and other debris that toothbrushes leave behind. While they’re not as good as flossing, they’re better than nothing.
If you brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once per day, and use a Waterpik, you’ll have the best chance of avoiding gum disease and tooth decay, and your smile will remain bright and strong. But don’t forget about six-month cleanings and oral exams from Dr. Meadows or Dr. Villalobos at Coronado Dental Associates, either! Contact us online or give us a call at (619) 435-0844 to schedule your next appointment right away.