Is there a special someone in your life who can’t — or simply won’t — floss between his or her teeth? Then a water flosser may just be the perfect gift!
What Is a Water Flosser?
Known as the Water Pik back in the 1970s, the water flosser is a hand-held device that has become even more popular today. By streaming water in steady pulses, the water flosser removes food between your teeth the way string floss does when you scrape it against your teeth.
There are three types of water flossers:
- Countertop water flossers have many features, tip options and pressure ranges.
- Cordless water flossers are portable and cordless.
- Combination water flossers come with an electric toothbrush for a complete dental care experience.
How Do Water Flossers Work?
You simply fill the reservoir with warm water, select a tip and place it in your mouth. Lean over the sink and turn the unit on. Aim the tip at the gum line, close your lips enough to prevent splashing and let the water flow from your mouth into the sink.
Water flossers can be very effective for cleaning around braces and implants!
Are Water Flossers Better than Regular Flossing?
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry looked at the effectiveness of a water flosser when compared to string floss used in combination with a manual toothbrush. The researchers found that the group who used the water flosser actually had a 74.4 percent reduction in plaque compared to a 57.7 percent reduction in the group who used the string floss.
When choosing a water flosser, look for one that has received the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been tested to be safe and effective at removing plaque — the sticky film that forms on your teeth and puts you at higher risk of cavities and gum disease — and can help reduce gum disease (gingivitis) throughout your mouth and between your teeth. At this time, the Waterpik® is the only water flosser that has received the seal.
Bottom line: Flossing is extremely important, and if water flossing will help you get the job done, then try it! But the old-fashioned way of flossing is still extremely effective.