Why Flossing is important for healthy oral hygiene?

The importance of good oral care has significantly increased because people have started recognizing its advantages in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Bad oral hygiene often leads to cavities, tooth loss, and serious gum disease. If not treated timely, gum disease can negatively affect heart health. 

Due to poor oral care in pregnancy, pregnant women may seriously experience issues, such as pregnancy tumors, dental erosions, loose teeth, gingival tissue ulcerations, pregnancy granuloma. In worst-case scenarios, gum disease may also enter into a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and can badly affect a fetus. This can cause the premature and low birth weight of babies in pregnant women.

Thus, the dentist always suggests brushing your teeth twice a day. But, often, regular brushing doesn’t always clean plaque, food particles, and bacteria between teeth. The bristles of a toothbrush are not small enough to clean between the tight spaces.

For the deep cleaning of teeth, flossing is considered to be the best option to maintain good oral health. There are two options for interdental cleaning: water flosser or dental floss.  

What are Waterpik Water Flossers?

A Waterpik, commonly known as an oral pulsating irrigator, is a tool that aims a stream of water at your teeth. Waterpik is one of the most popular brands of water flossers. It sprays water into your mouth to clean food particles between your teeth and under your gum line. It is vital dental equipment to reduce gum disease and bleeding.

However, a Waterpik should never be used as an alternate for brushing. It is rather a replacement of standard dental floss that helps in reducing bacteria and keeps your teeth and gums healthy.

Choose Waterpik instead of flossing if you:

Ø Wear braces

Ø Find difficult to floss daily

Ø Have non-removable bridgework

Ø Have dental implants

Ø Have crowns

Ø Have arthritis or poor mobility

As per PubMed, water flossers are just as effective, or more effective than standard dental floss at removing plaque.

Some Important Ways to Use a Waterpik Water Flosser Properly 

Following are the most appropriate ways to use a Waterpik Water Flosser: 

Ø Fill up the reservoir with warm water

Ø Press down tightly on the device’s base

Ø Select a tip and then click it into the handle

Ø Begin with the lowest pressure setting and then place the tip of the device into your mouth and lean over the sink to avoid getting water everywhere.

Ø Turn the device on and close your mouth just enough to avoid water splashes

Ø Allow the water flow from your mouth into the sink 

Ø Aim the tip at your gum line

Ø When done, turn the device off and press the “eject” button to remove the tip

Pros- Waterpik Water Flossers

Waterpik Flosser helps in treating:

Ø hard-to-reach areas of the mouth

Ø Tightly spaced teeth

Ø Periodontal pockets

Ø Bad Breath (freshens up your breath for a longer period)

Cons- Waterpik Water Flossers

Ø Unrealistic Cost of the device (ranges from about $50 to $200).

Ø It can be messy and need some time to get used to.

Ø May does not clean all plaque

What is Standard Dental Floss? 

There are several types of dental floss, depending upon your need and style choose one, however, you can have several different types of floss and flossing products. You can have a small box of dental tape or nylon dental floss, and you can also have flavored floss, for instance, mint-flavored floss. It is the best choice to have flavored floss when you are traveling because you don’t have to carry a mouthwash.  

There are several types of Dental Floss:

– Unwaxed Floss 

– Waxed Floss

– Dental Tape

– Polytetrafluorethylene Floss (PTFE)

– Super Flosses

Pros- Standard Dental Floss

Ø It is considerably cheaper than water flossers. It costs around $5-$10 for several yards, which will last months.

Ø Offers plenty of control.

Ø Manual flossing enables you to clean every gap between the teeth.

Ø Suitable for everybody.

Cons- Standard Dental Floss

Ø Some people find it difficult to treat a particular area of the mouth while using string floss.

Ø You may also have a tough time reaching between tightly closed teeth.

Ø Inappropriate usage may cause gums to bleed.

What is the difference between Waterpik vs. Standard Dental Flossing?

According to the experts, standard dental floss is in general considered the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth. 

However, a Waterpik can help in cleaning food particles and might help reduce gum disease and bleeding. But it isn’t generally considered a substitute for brushing and flossing. It doesn’t remove visible plaque and film on your teeth but can assist in a decrease in bacteria even below the gumline.

Use the waxed variety, if standard dental floss gets stuck in your teeth. You can also use a floss holder if you have a hard time handling dental floss. Apart from this, you can also use special brushes, picks, or sticks designed to clean plaque and food particles between the teeth.

Things to consider while buying new floss for a good oral care

  • Acceptance Seal of American Dental Association (ADA).
  • User thinner floss if your teeth are tightly spaced and thicker if you have a gap between your teeth.
  • Optimize flavored floss, if you are trying to cajole kids into flossing.
  • Price of floss.


When to Floss – before or after brushing teeth?

The ADA says that either way is acceptable, as long as you do it correctly. Some people say that they like to floss first to clean loosen food particles and debris from between teeth, which can be brushed away later.

While others choose to brush first to take out the plaque before flossing and to let the fluoride from toothpaste reaches the mouth areas that could be blocked by food particles.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of PeriodontologyTrusted Source depicted that if you choose to floss first over brushing then it would be the most appropriate way to remove the plaque between teeth.

On the other hand, as per the ADA and American Academy of Periodontology, brushing and flossing in any order can be fruitful. 


You can choose any dental hygiene technique, generally, the most effective dental hygiene method is one you’ll stick to, enjoy, and can see yourself using regularly.

Various dental researches have shown that there’s the least amount of difference in plaque removal between using floss versus the Waterpik.

Both standard dental flossing and Waterpiks are effective ways to take care of teeth and gums. 

In case of any serious concern, visit your dentist for determining the best option for your good oral hygiene.