Team photograph of Dr Axelrad & staff

Water Floss or String Floss?

Posted on by Dr. Axelrad

water pik

Did you know that there are two ways of flossing? One is with string and the other with water.

We discussed flossing with string in a previous blog, “Proper Oral Hygiene Techniques – Part 1,” posted on February 19th, 2012. Water flossing is not a term known to many, but the concept has been around for years….Do you recognize the brand name Waterpik?

Water Flossing – Concept

A stream of water under pressure is expressed through a handheld device and is aimed between the teeth. The rush of water is quite effective in removing large debris, plaque and food particles adhering to and lodged between the teeth.

A water flosser is most ideal for individuals who:

1) Have braces: Braces have become more simplified over the years however they’re still a magnet for food debris and plaque. And using string floss is not the easiest of tasks for those with braces…so water flossing is a good solution.
2) May not have the manual dexterity to use string floss i.e. those with arthritis, mentally challenged.
3) Have missing teeth. If gaps are present, it’s almost harder to use string floss. String floss works best if there are tight contacts between the teeth.

Additional advantages of water flossing

1) Good for individuals with periodontal disease (deep pockets). Please see the blog, “Periodontal Disease … What exactly is it?” posted on March 2nd, 2012. The pulsating stream of water is effective at expelling bacteria from the base of the pocket. This helps decrease the risk of a periodontal (gum) infection. It may also be helpful to read blogs “What do the pocketing measurements mean?” posted on October 13th, 2012 and also “Pocketing Measurements,” posted on October 8th, 2012.
2) Helps to reduce inflammation by stimulating the gum tissue. Mechanically stimulating the gums will do this.
3) Is beneficial to those with diabetes. Those affected are more prone to gum infections, so if we keep plaque/food particles from populating the deep pockets, there will be less chance of an infection.
4) Very helpful to those who have implants. The junction where the implant is fixed (attached), must be kept clean. Water flossing can easily remove debris without damaging the implant.

In Conclusion

Individuals with gaps present, braces and poor manual dexterity would benefit from water flossing.

For those with tight contacts between their teeth, the string floss is preferred to water flossing.

With string floss, one can massage and stimulate the gums which is essential for proper oral health…water flossing doesn’t have the same effect on the gums.

In my opinion, if you don’t use string floss, then water flossing can be a beneficial alternative.

Dental Questions or Concerns? Give Us a Call today @ 905.791.3867…you’ll be glad you did!

Based in Brampton, Ontario, Brampton Dentist Dr. Robert Axelrad has been practicing gentle and pain-free dentistry for over two decades. During this time, he has helped to improve the dental health of countless satisfied patients in Peel Region, Brampton and beyond! Feel free to call us today at (905) 791-3867 for any dental health question you may have, as we are always happy to hear from you.

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