It’s often labelled as one of our least favourite things to do in our daily routine, but there’s no escaping it: flossing plays an important part in our oral hygiene. Your dentist can’t get enough of flossing while you struggle with bringing yourself do it once a week, let alone daily. In fact, two thirds of us don’t floss at all! Although standard dental floss is generally considered to be the most effective tool for cleaning deeply between our teeth, there is another tool on the market that is fast becoming a favourite among patients – water floss. So, is string floss better than water floss and what are the drawbacks and benefits of both?
It has to be said that a good flossing routine begins with thoroughly cleaning your teeth with a good high-end electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Cheap electric toothbrushes are everywhere at the moment, so why not invest in one in order to minimise the amount of flossing you will need to do in the first place? Electric toothbrushes keep your teeth, gums and tongue cleaner than a manual toothbrush due to their rotating and oscillating heads. Their ability to reach between your teeth and clean that bit deeper than a manual brush, means flossing will be less arduous.
String dental floss works well for regular users who know how to use the tool properly in order to gain a health benefit from using it. It involves wrapping floss string around your fingers and passing it back and forth through your teeth to remove any plaque build-up. String floss is ideal for cleaning the tight spaces in between the teeth and to scrape down the side of each tooth. Water floss (also known as an oral irrigator) differs from string floss on that it aims a jet of water at your teeth. Water flossers have been proven to be highly effective at washing away accumulated bacterial toxins, something which string floss can’t achieve. Clinical studies conducted on water floss have shown to be a shocking 51% more effective in reducing gingivitis and 29% more effective than dental floss at removing plaque.
Dentists argue that while water flossers go a great job in removing food from teeth, string floss is superior in the fact that it scrapes away and removes plaque. The removal of plaque is essential in the prevention of tarter build up which can cause gum disease. However, string floss can cause problems among those with sensitive gums, braces and dexterity issues, for which water floss is a great alternative. Alternatively, string floss is considerably cheaper than purchasing a water flosser and also takes up less room in your bathroom, which makes it a more convenient choice for those on a budget. While the water stream from water flossers picks out and removes food particles and is thought to also reduce bleeding and gum disease, it is still argued to not be a good enough substitute for flossing alone. Alternatively, many dentists agree that if you are not unlikely to use string floss using water floss is better than not flossing at all.
It seems the answer to which floss option is best for you depends on your budget and tooth sensitivity. While water floss is the more ‘fun’ option, string floss is still the best form of floss to use to remove plaque. Why not try using the combined power of both floss types? Using string floss to dislodge plaque and water floss to flush away toxins and food particles will do wonders at improving your oral health!