January 14, 2019

Flossing vs. Waterpik: Which is Best?

Filed under: Family Dentist — Tags: — allheart_dental @ 6:10 pm

woman flossing teethBesides brushing, the health of your smile also relies on flossing. The American Dental Association recommends you use a high-quality floss to clean in between each tooth and around the gum line at least once per day. Unfortunately, if you are among the 37% of Americans who do not do it as often as you should, you are significantly increasing your risk of gum disease. This is a preventable infection affecting at least 50% of Americans. You can help lower your risk by taking the time to clean between each tooth. Now, you can use traditional floss or a Waterpik, but which is more effective?

Why Do I Need to Floss?

Although your toothbrush is effective for removing harmful food particles and plaque, there are places in your mouth it cannot clean. If you do not floss daily, you are leaving as much as 40% of your teeth’s surfaces uncleaned. This causes tartar to accumulate near the gum line, leading to an infection. The bacteria destroy the supporting structures of your teeth, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. It can also enter your bloodstream, causing several health issues, like cardiovascular disease.

Floss vs. Waterpik

Now, you have several choices to clean the areas missed by your toothbrush. Among the most common products are traditional floss and a Waterpik. A Waterpik is a dental device that provides interdental cleaning using a thin jet of water to clean around your gum line and between the teeth. Dental floss is a thin cord inserted between your teeth to remove plaque and food particles. Both methods can remove the harmful buildup, but which is best?


Clinical studies report a Waterpik to be 51% more effective at reducing gingivitis than traditional floss. It is also 29% more effective are removing plaque. It can give you a healthier smile when used for just 1 minute each day because it can clean the periodontal pockets and around the wisdom teeth where floss may not reach.

Dental Floss

A 2008 study found brushing and flossing together to significantly reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. During the 2-week study, it was concluded lifelong use of flossing is extremely beneficial to your dental health too reduce the development of gum disease.

Which is Best?

Both methods are effective for preventing gum disease if the correct techniques are used and it is done at least once per day. It remains more of a personal choice to use the product that best meets your needs and accommodates your lifestyle.

Get a Healthy Smile Today!

Do not let gum disease damage your smile. Protect your oral health by taking the time to floss every day.

About Allheart Dental Implants & Orthodontics

Allheart Dental Implants & Orthodontics focuses on prevention to keep the teeth and gums healthy. If you have questions about the oral hygiene products you use at home, your Arlington dentist will help you make the right choice for your smile. Contact our office today to schedule your next cleaning and checkup.


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