When it comes to oral hygiene, the first thing that most people think about is brushing their teeth. And rightly so—brushing daily is pretty important. But something else that’s equally important, and sadly often neglected, is flossing! Flossing allows you to clean places in your mouth that your toothbrush can’t access on its own. But many people aren’t sure about how to approach flossing; are traditional dental flosses more effective, or are newer innovations like Waterpiks the go-to these days? Here’s more from your dentist in Glendale about each and which is better for your smile.
Dental floss has heavily influenced the way we clean our teeth for centuries. These days it’s typically made out of nylon and comes in either waxed or unwaxed strands, as well as a variety of different lengths, flavors, and colors. You can also buy dental floss picks, which are handy little plastic tools with precut strands of floss attached. These are much easier to handle than traditional floss, and equally effective.
But for the most part, dental floss is still relatively easy to use and when handled correctly, can fully clean every tooth in your mouth. It removes the bacteria and food particles that become stuck between your teeth before they can turn into tartar. Some people encounter difficulty flossing if they have teeth that are particularly close together. You must also be careful not to floss too hard, as this can cause your gumline to bleed. But dental floss is still completely safe to use and is strongly recommended alongside brushing.
Also called oral irrigators, Waterpiks make flossing much easier for patients who have braces, crowns, implants, or nonremovable bridgework. They’re also fantastic for patients with arthritis or limited mobility that makes brushing and flossing challenging. Not only are Waterpiks easy to operate; they also provide access to spaces in the mouth that even traditional floss can’t reach. However, be mindful that Waterpiks cannot completely remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, and they’re certainly not a substitute for brushing!
Which Is Better for Cleaning My Teeth?
The bottom line is that both of these methods are highly effective, as long as you stick with one—when it comes to oral hygiene, consistency is key. That said, many people prefer using traditional dental floss, as it gives them full control of the cleaning process. Others claim that nothing cleans their teeth quite like their Waterpik! Research shows that there’s minimal difference in how much plaque they each remove, so the choice is ultimately up to you.
Flossing isn’t always easy, but it is certainly always worth it. Talk with your dentist if you have questions about flossing or concerns about which method you should utilize; both can contribute to a healthy and beautiful smile!
About the Author
Dr. Robert A. Sue received his dental doctorate from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California and is a proud member of several professional organizations including the renowned American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and more. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to reach out online or by phone: (818) 873-5107.