Yes, that’s how important flossing is. But as a family dentist I’m well aware of the fact that most folks don’t floss as often as they should, if at all.
Traditional flossing entails taking a piece of string floss and rubbing it around the teeth and gums. However, there is another option – water flossing. Water flossers are oral irrigation devices. They use water pressure to spout out a constant stream of water that will remove food particles, plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and underneath the gums.
In many cases, water flossers help people be more compliant in the flossing process, since water flossing requires less manual dexterity, especially for those hard-to-reach areas. And these devices are especially helpful for people who have braces, bridges or implants. Not to mention the fact that squirting water between your teeth is just more fun!
But is water flossing an appropriate substitute for traditional flossing? There are mixed perspectives on that. Some studies, such as one conducted by the University of California School of Dentistry Center, show that as far as plaque removal goes, water flossing is more effective than regular flossing. Yet other dentists argue that water flossers simply rinse areas affected by plaque, whereas flossing actually wipes plaque off of teeth. Alan Carr, D.M.D. from the Mayo Clinic agrees that standard dental floss is generally considered the most effective way for cleaning tight spaces from between the teeth.
Regardless of the debate, one thing is for sure – some type of flossing, be it by water or by string, is better than no flossing at all. If you have questions about either traditional or water flossing, be sure to bring them up with your family dentist.
And if you don’t have a family dentist and live in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, there’s no better time than now to get one! Give us a call to schedule an appointment. We are eager to be your partner in care for maintaining your oral health.