Should You Try a Water Flosser?
Technology has made daily life easier in so many ways. For example, you can use electronic water flossers to support your oral health. But should you? Dentists tend to agree that while water flossers can be helpful for removing food debris, they can’t entirely replace manual flossing. Here’s why.
How Water Flossers Work
Water flossers funnel water from a small reservoir through sterile tubing and out of the applicator head. Users aim the applicator head at the teeth and gum line to wash away food particles. For best results, users should slowly move the applicator head from one side of the mouth to the other before switching to aim the water jet at the same teeth from the back side.
Why Water Flossers Fall Short
Although water flossers can be an effective way to remove food particles, they are far less effective at removing sticky plaque. Plaque is a substance made up of bacteria. If left on the teeth and along the gum line, it can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your teeth will remove plaque, but toothbrushes have trouble cleaning between the teeth. And since water flossers can’t remove plaque effectively, it’s still necessary to use manual floss to scrape away plaque from between the teeth.
What Dentists Recommend
In short, a water flosser is a great oral care tool to add to your daily routine. However, it can’t replace flossing. Dentists still recommend flossing at least once daily. Some patients decide to use a water flosser in the morning and manual floss in the evening, or vice versa. If you’re having trouble using manual floss because of dexterity issues or the presence of braces, your dentist might recommend trying a floss holder or proxabrush in addition to a water flosser.
Has it been longer than six months since your last professional dental cleaning? You can schedule an appointment at the Tucson dental office of John R. Carson, DDS by calling (520) 514-7203. We specialize in friendly, judgment-free patient care.