As you strive to improve your oral health and dental care between visits to your dentist, flossing is at the top of your to-do list. But how should you floss? You have a couple of options. These include water flossing with a water pick, and using dental floss for manual flossing. If you want to choose the best way to floss, start by looking at the benefits of both methods. Then decide what works best for your dental care needs.
Water flossing involves using a pressurized micro-stream of water to remove debris between your teeth. This flossing method requires you to purchase a water pick machine. Please note, the American Dental Association states that water flossers have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that water flossers are safe to use, as well as effective in removing plaque.
Plaque is a sticky film filled with bacteria that builds up between dental cleanings. By removing plaque, you reduce the chances that you will develop a cavity or decay. In addition, patients who have certain types of dental care can benefit from using a water pick.
For example, if you have a fixed bridge or braces, you may struggle with brushing your teeth with manual brushes. Meanwhile, if you use a water flosser machine, this device can more easily navigate dental work to remove debris and plaque.
The most common method of flossing is with dental floss. Today, you have the option of using dental floss string or toothpicks fitted with floss. To floss with string, you must wind the floss around your fingers. You must manually guide the floss between and around the base of your teeth. This removes any bacteria, food, and other debris caught between your teeth. However, you are not removing plaque as you would when using a water flosser.
In addition, if you have dental work including braces and bridges, dental floss is not feasible as the stand-alone flossing method. For example, individuals with braces must also use specialty brushes to get in between the wires and teeth for cleaning.
Another consideration with flossing by hand is personal challenges. If you are taking care of a child or elderly individual and in charge of their oral care, you may find manual flossing difficult at best. This can also be a challenge for the child or senior who may find it discomforting for you to floss their teeth. Individuals with special needs, such as lack of mobility or arthritis, can also struggle with using manual floss.
While every patient we see has a preference, we recommend water flossing. Along with removing debris, bacteria, and plaque, you have a more efficient way to floss compared to string floss. Another reason to choose water picking is environmental. Dental floss cannot be recycled and that small length of string adds up year after year. Water picking is more eco-friendly for households interested in going green.
If you have additional questions about how to choose a water flosser or dental floss contact Parke and Rogers Dentistry at 281-419-2632 in The Woodlands, Texas.